Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Are You Registered to Vote? Deadlines are Approaching!

I have a dream...of a day when registering to vote in the U.S. and figuring out basic information about voting is as simple and easy as booking a cross country flight, sharing your opinions with hundreds of friends, or instantaneously accessing ancient religious texts.

In an age of mind-blowing technological advances and an explosion of information sharing, in a country that often claims a large share of credit for these advances, you'd think that we'd be ahead of the game in enabling this most fundamental act of democratic participation. On the contrary, plenty of folks are seemingly outraged that there aren't even more barriers in place. 

But this is not a post about voter ID laws. This is about you, dear U.S. readers, and whether or not you're registered to vote. Because a functioning democracy requires full participation. And because voter registration deadlines are rapidly approaching. And while it's still not quite iPad-easy, there are plenty of organizations using technology to make the registration and voting process a whole lot easier. 

The League of Young Voters* has a list of resources designed to make the process easier, including: 

  • TurboVote - Here you can enter your information, print out your registration form, and mail it in. In earlier days, they would have even mailed it for you, but since registration deadlines are so soon, you've got to take that last step yourself. 
  • TheBallot.org - A promising attempt to create a forum that provides information on what's on your ballot, and allows people to share their intended ballots online
  • Student Voting Guide - This state-by-state clickable map has information on voter registration rules and student voter rights, developed by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. 
  • 1-866-OUR-VOTE (English) or 1-888-Ve-Y-Vota(Spanish). Use the old fashioned telephone to find answers on voter registration and polling places, and to report voting problems. (You can also go to 866OurVote.org)

All this is not to say that voting is a terribly a complicated thing. You register, you (hopefully) research the candidates and issues that are being voted on in your state, you mail in your ballot or show up on Election Day, and voila, you are an active participant in democracy! Sure, it could be easier, but especially with all these resources, there's really no excuse not to do it. Our forefathers and especially our foremothers fought long and hard for the right to do it, so let's not let lack of time or a stamp get in our way. 

Gina Cardazone
University of Hawaii at Manoa

*Historical sidenote: When I was first introduced to the League of Young Voters in the early 2000's, it was called the League of Pissed Off Voters. Incidentally, at this time I was both younger and more pissed off. 

1 comment:

  1. i am already registered and i am ready to vote..i want that our country will have a good president who would do everything for the people and for the country,who wouldn't take away the money of the people..