Farah Siddiqi, Producer
Today is National Voter Registration Day.
Michiganders have many locations where they can register to vote, such as community colleges, universities, shelters, food banks, libraries, fairs and even on the web.
Paula Bowman, co-president of the League of Women Voters of Michigan, said part of its mission is to engage voters in democracy, which starts by helping people to register.
“(You) can’t participate in your democracy in terms of elections unless you vote,” Bowman stressed. “Even though in Michigan you can vote up through Election Day, we want to help people avoid that hassle and get registered to vote as soon as possible when they are eligible.”
According to U.S. census data from 2020, as many as one in four eligible Americans are not registered to vote. Every year, millions of Americans find themselves unable to vote because they miss a registration deadline, do not update their registration, or are not sure how to register.
Bowman pointed out engagement increases after someone is registered, because the fact they have registered to vote is a matter of public record and can be valuable.
“Believe it or not, they start getting all kinds of campaign information,” Bowman noted. “People may contact them to be a poll worker or an election worker. I will say that not all of that is welcome, but it does make them recipients, which is important.”
National Voter Registration Day is celebrated every September. It involves volunteers and organizations from all over the country hitting the streets in a single day of coordinated field, technology and media efforts. Michigan will even host two weeks worth of registration efforts at the ArtPrize fair in Grand Rapids.
This article is republished from Public News Service under a Creative Commons license.