Written By: Daniela Lusardi
It’s almost the end of September, and we know what that means! Yes, the hot and humid days of summer will soon be replaced by the crisp air of fall unless you live here in South Florida. We are also getting closer to National Voter Registration Day!
National Voter Registration day is a national holiday that has been observed on the fourth Tuesday of September, every year since 2012. This year, it will take place on September 24th as a celebration of our democracy.
Living as a citizen of the United States of America, it is considered a privilege to exercise our right to vote. Not only is it our civil duty to participate in our country’s elections, but it is also an opportunity that not all nations extend to their citizens. For that reason, taking advantage of this freedom should be a rewarding experience for all those who partake in it. However, not all Americans participate in such a freedom. Why? Well, most citizens are unable to vote due to either a missed registration deadline or simply a lack of knowledge on how to register.
For this reason, National Voter Registration Day is aimed at educating and extending a chance to become an eligible voter to every American! By creating awareness of the importance of casting a vote, volunteers will be able to educate members of the community on the proper steps involved in registering to vote as well as assist them in doing so. Just last year, Voter Registration Day allowed for over 800,000 individuals to register to vote across the nation. Not only is this holiday about registering new voters, it is also a day to educate those already registered of features such as election reminders, re-registrations, mail ballots, and early voting. The deadline to register to vote for an upcoming election is 29 days before that date.
In order to be eligible for registration, one must be:
• A U.S. citizen
• At least 18 years of age
• A legal resident of their state and county of desired registration
• Free of any convictions of a felony
• Mentally capacitated and competent to cast a vote
In Florida, you can register to vote in a matter of a few minutes by visiting the following website and following the steps required to submit an online application: https://registertovoteflorida.gov/home
In order to submit an online application, you will need proof of Florida residence in the form of a driver license. Once you have registered to vote, you will be mailed your voter card and will be considered an eligible voter. There you have it, you are now a registered voter!
One way the government tracks whether or not eligible voters take action during the elections is by calculating the voter turnout, or the percentage of eligible voters who cast a ballot during an election, whether it be a regional or national one. During the 2018 elections, the voter turnout for individuals between the ages of 18 and 29 was determined to be 36%. Although the voter turnout for the 2018 election did increase, compared to 20% in the 2014 election, the voter turnout in the United States is still much lower than that of other established democracies. In order to improve this voter turnout in the upcoming elections, it is important to encourage young individuals to register to vote, and encourage eligible voters to go to the polls during the elections!
By making the most of Voter Registration Day on September 24th, we can ensure this upcoming election receives an even greater voter turnout!
LET’S GET OUT THERE & REGISTER TO VOTE!