The LGBT Health & Development Program

Your Vote Matters: Register to Vote Today!


Posted on September 26th, 2012 by Katie in Allies, Youth Blog. No Comments

September 25th is National Voter Registration Day, an effort to ensure all citizens over age 18 are able to register to vote in time for the November election. According to the website, 6 million Americans didn’t get the chance to vote in 2008 because they missed the registration deadline or didn’t know how to register.

If you register today you should be eligible for the November election (keeping in mind state deadlines vary). The Huffington Post has a detailed post on voter registration for all 50 states. Additional websites, such as the National Conference of State Legislatures, Advancement Project, and Cost of Freedom Project, provide information about the new, stricter voter ID laws in states like Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.

You may be asking yourself: why should I vote, why does it matter? The short answer is your vote is a great way to get your voice heard! Participating in elections is a right and a privilege– one that had to be fought for in this country. In addition, a number of important issues are at stake in national, state, and local elections this year including:

  • Harassment and violence
  • Employment protections
  • Student loans
  • Health care
  • Marriage equality for LGBTQ couples
  • Reproductive rights
  • Voter suppression and ID laws

Check out this video for some hilarious reasons to rock the vote in November.

The Voting How-To:

  • Get registered to vote under your legal name and address
    • Go to the National Voter Registration Day website or one of the other sites listed below to learn how to register to vote in your state
    • Be prepared and know what documentationyou need to bring to the polls
      • You may need to bring your Driver’s License, Passport, or other identification to be able to vote. Be sure to check out your state’s voting rules to make sure you have what you need.
      • Get informedon the issues
        • Read your local newspaper; find websites that provide a balanced perspective on both sides of the issues.
        • I recommend bringing in a “cheat sheet” into the voting booth with your choices marked to serve as a helpful reminder.
        • Know your voting rights
          • If someone attempts to turn you away, ask for a provisional ballot. After you have voted, call your state’s voter hotline to report the incident and ensure that your vote counts.

Let your voice – and your vote – be heard this November!

 

 

Sources:

Advancement Project. Voter Protection Map: http://www.advancementproject.org/map

Cost of Freedom Project: http://www.costoffreedom.info/

Magnin, A. (9/19/2012). Here are registration and voting instructions for all 50 states. Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thought-catalog/millennial-guide-to-voting_b_1897607.html

National Conference of State Legislatures. Voter Identification Requirements: http://www.ncsl.org/legislatures-elections/elections/voter-id.aspx

National Voter Registration Day: http://nationalvoterregistrationday.org/

United States Election Assistance Commission. Register to Vote: http://www.eac.gov/voter_resources/register_to_vote.aspx

 





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