September 26 is National Voter Registration Day (NVRD). While there are many “days” that we celebrate each year (including today’s celebration of National Bow Tie Day), Americans should pay special attention to NVRD because academic research shows us that the average voter doesn’t know or understand the registration process.
NVRD is a chance to put a national face on the importance of registering to vote, as well as keeping your voter registration up to date. It’s a critical reminder because research shows us that many Americans believe that once they register to vote, their registration will follow them wherever they go. But as the 2016 EAC Election Administration and Voting Survey (EAVS) shows, the biggest reasons for provisional ballots being issued are 1) someone isn’t registered to vote or 2) someone isn’t registered in the jurisdiction they are attempting to vote in. All of us play a role in making sure that doesn’t happen.
The good news is that election officials across the country recognize this challenge and have worked to make the process easier using tools like online registration, increased data and information sharing programs like ERIC and use of easier, more accessible voter look up tools like VIP. They are doing their part to make the voter registration and registration update process as easy as possible, but they can only do so much.
American voters – yes, you – also have an important role to play. We encourage you to register to vote and to keep your registrations current to ensure you are able to participate in each election. As we head towards NVRD, the EAC is focused on providing voters with the information and resources they need to register to vote and update their voter registration. Please visit EAC.gov for links to state online voter registration systems, the national voter registration form, as well as voter education resources.
In the end, our nation and its voters benefit from up to date and accurate voter rolls because it means a more efficient and accurate election process. So don’t wait! Straighten your bow tie today and register to vote.