Can we all just get along on National Voter Registration Day? It’s the one day of the year where Americans come together over our mutual love of democracy. National Voter Registration Day rolls around the fourth Tuesday of every September. This year, with the midterms looming, the day falls on September 24 where there’s an all-out push to register as many Americans as possible. Already registered? You can update your information, confirm your polling place or double-check your deadlines.
National Voter Registration Day - History
Alabama NAACP lost Supreme Court decision
In the decision against Alabama's NAACP in Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court ruled that certain jurisdictions with a history of voting discrimination did not have to get pre-approval for voting rule changes.
South Carolina Passed Strict Voter ID Law
South Carolina's voter ID law, one of the most restrictive in the nation, would prohibit 180,000 African-Americans from voting.
Voting Rights Act Extended
Congress extended Section 5, a key part of the Voting Rights Act, for 25 more years.
African-American legislators made history
Barbara Jordan and Andrew Young entered Congress as the first African-Americans elected since Reconstruction.
The Voting Rights Act Became Law
President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law allowing people of color to vote without barriers to political involvement.
National Voter Registration Day Activities
1. Pump it up with a rally
What's more American than a good old-fashioned rally? Get some speakers, throw in some entertainment and, of course, assemble voter registration tables. Make it a fun event with a purpose.
2. Volunteer to knock on doors
Walking the neighborhood is a great way to meet people. Remember, National Voter Registration Day is not about hyping any one party. It's about educating voters and getting out the vote. Plus, all the exercise is good for your thighs.
There are lots of ways to volunteer on National Voter Registration Day. Not only can you sign up voters, you can also create a social media page, design a flyer, or take a carpool of friends to an event. Be creative.
5 Facts About Voting That Will Make You Go "Hmmmm"
1. No idiots please
Ohio's constitution bans "idiots" from voting according to Article V, Section 6 of the state constitution.
2. George Washington campaigned with booze
During his first legislative run, George Washington spent his campaign budget of 50 pounds on a round of election day drinks for his constituents.
3. Voting, Texas-style
As part of the Texas voter ID process, you can't vote with a student ID but if you show a gun license, you're good to go.
4. Those persevering Utah women
Utah women voters were granted the right in 1870 — but it was revoked by Congress in 1887 — and re-instituted by the state in 1895.
5. You had to pay a tax to vote
Poll taxes, started in the 1890s, legally kept southern African-Americans from voting by making them pay for the right.
Why We Love National Voter Registration Day
A. Time to celebrate our democratic heritage.
National Voter Registration Day has volunteers out en masse with voter registration activities at school, in the workplace, and in your neighborhoods. For one whole day, volunteers and various organizations collaborate by setting up registration tables, knocking on doors or producing social and mass media awareness campaigns over the importance of registering to vote. National Voter Registration Day makes an all-out effort to register the tens of thousands of Americans who can make a difference at the ballot box.
B. Don't hate—celebrate
National Voter Registration Day discourages political voter rage in favor of voter celebration. Imagine over 10,000 volunteers working together one full day to educate Americans on one of our most precious rights — the right to vote. In 2016, 750,00 voters registered on National Voter Registration Day. With so many world citizens denied this basic right, promoting our core democratic values, voting, should give all Americans something to cheer about on National Voter Registration Day.
C. It educates Americans on voting rights
National Voter Registration Day reminds and educates American on the voter requirements. You must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen, and a current resident of your state. When you see a National Voter Registration Day table or volunteer, you can do more than just register. You can confirm your polling place, update your registration details, or just get information if it all seems a little over your head. Voting — it's all good!