62% of eligible citizens who are unregistered to vote say that they have never been asked to register.
This is why it is so important to have voter registration drives — to get in front of as many unregistered citizens as possible and help them become voters. And normally, tons of voter registrations drives would be underway right now.
But then, the coronavirus hit.
Voter registrations have ground to a halt because everyone is staying home. To demonstrate just how important the months leading up to the election can be, NBC noted that “in the runup to the 2016 presidential election, Americans filed more than 77.5 million voter registration applications.”
A lot of those registrations are young people who have become eligible since the last election, but a sizable number are voters who need to re-register because they’ve moved since the last election.
Events are cancelled, college campuses are closed, DMVs are closed — there just aren’t that many opportunities for unregistered people to be made aware that they should register.
So what can we do?
Currently, 40 states offer online voter registration, (notable states without it are Texas and North Carolina), and candidates and organizations in the the remaining 10 states are finding ways to get the word out about voter registration digitally.
One thing you can do is check for any digital voter registration “events” on Mobilize Us. Click on Events — Remote — Voter Registration. Events may be about writing letters/postcards, texting or phoning them to encourage people to vote.
You can also check in on your favorite candidate’s campaign to learn more about the voter registration efforts they might be undertaking. The bigger the office (president, governor, senator) the more likely their campaign will be able to hook you up.
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