Ed note: National Voter Registration Day 2023 is on Sep. 19 this year, but here’s a look back at some handy tips to make sure your voice can be heard during election season
Today, September 20, marks National VoterRegistration Day. November’s general elections are already around the corner, with early voting starting this week in some states.
There are voter suppression tactics all over the country, but here are 5 ways to help ensure you can vote and be involved this midterm election season.
Confirm you’re registered to vote
You may have registered to vote before, but voters can and do get kicked off the rolls (which is how Georgia Governor Brian Kemp came under fire in his race against Stacey Abrams). Or maybe you moved and didn’t update your information. Double-check your status with a few prompts here.
Register to vote
Except for North Dakota, all states require that you register before voting in an election. If you’re not registered, a federal government website (vote.gov) provides a good place to start. Just choose your location from the drop-down menu at the top, and you’ll also see your state or territory’s registration deadlines.
Learn why it’s important to vote and tell a friend
There are plenty of reasons why people don’t vote. Many nonvoters feel like elections don’t truly change their lives, and they have good reason to think that. But not all elections are the same. Many state and local elections directly affect police budgets, your healthcare access, what and how students learn in public schools, money available for affordable housing, and other issues. Former First Lady Michelle Obama created an initiative, “When We All Vote,” to increase voter education and mobilize voters, and you can volunteer to join her.
Know your polling location
You don’t want to be the person arriving at your polling spot 10 minutes before they close, only to find out you’re at the wrong polling location and yours is actually across town. The National Association of Secretaries of State provides a tool to find out where you need to vote, available here.
Start voting early if you can
Some states will start the early voting process for November’s general midterm elections this week, including Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wyoming on Friday Sept. 23. Early voting in Vermont and Virginia begins this Saturday Sept. 24.
Next week on Thursday Sept. 29, early voting for Illinois, Michigan, and North Dakota begins.