Since 2012, the fourth Tuesday of September has become synonymous with voter awareness in the United States. National Voter Registration Day, a 7-year-old tradition, aims to register eligible voters so that they can cast ballots in upcoming elections.
Although the next presidential election won’t take place until November 2020, organizations are motivated to inform voters about their civic duties.
On Sept. 24, students, faculty and volunteers at the University of Miami participated in a voter registration drive sponsored by Get Out the Vote. The event, which occurred at the Student Center Complex Lakeside Patio and Stage, gathered students from several states to register to vote. The event was a collaboration between between the Division of Student Affairs and the Butler Center for Service and Leadership.
At the event, students registered to vote, received information about upcoming elections and enjoyed Krispy Kreme donuts as rewards for their participation.
Student volunteers participating in the event emphasized the importance of being registered to vote and also noted the increase of out-of-state students registering in Florida. Sophie Robbins, a senior creative advertising major, said that she didn’t initially know that it was possible to switch her state of registration.
“I think a lot of students aren’t aware of that, so I’ve been making sure of informing passing students or letting my classmates know the process so that they can be registered,” she said.
According to the National Voter Registration Day’s official website, “more than 23 million people move across state lines, and 40 percent of people don’t know they need to update their voter registration after moving.”
Poll worker for Miami-Dade County, Will Castro, said the majority of students who participated in the event are from out of state and were looking to register in Florida.
“We’ve been surprised by the number of students who have registered,” Castro said. “Practically everyone who has passed by us has registered or at least have asked how to register in their own state. It’s great to see young students motivated to participate.”
National Voter Registration Day is aimed at making the voting process easier. In 2018, over 800,000 voters across all 50 states registered through National Voter Registration Day. The organization has uses new technology to educate Americans about how to register, sign up for election reminders, check their registration online, receive mail ballots, learn about early voting and understand their voting districts.
For more information on how to register or to check your registration status, visit nationalvoterregistrationday.org.