TODAY is National Voter Registration Day!

We're looking to register all eligible voters to make sure they are #VoteReady for the thousands of state and local elections happening this year. Our goal is to get over 250,000 people registered for this year’s local elections – OVER 35k seats up for grabs.

This year we have over 4,000 partners working on the community level: Find them here https://nationalvoterregistrationday.org/events

Whether its registration deadlines, registering in a new state or as an ex-felon, registration events, and even automatic and online voter registration – I probably have an answer for you so Ask Me Anything!

A little more about me: I’m an avid bike commuter (through snowy winters with studded bike tires!), kayaker, and woodsy hiker. You might also spot me playing mandolin at a Bluegrass jam.

Proof: https://i.redd.it/wqnuus9r21n31.jpg

Want to know how our team does it? AMA!

Update your own voter registration at http://nationalvoterregistrationday.org/register

Comments: 45 • Responses: 13  • Date: 

Tom_Art_UFO9 karma

What are your thoughts on making election day a national, mandatory holiday, so everyone has a chance to vote?

NatlVoterRegDay12 karma

We at National Voter Registration Day don't have a position on that. That said, one legitimate concern I've heard raised about making Election Day a holiday is that those who need it most (retail employees, restaurant workers, etc.) almost always have to work on so-called holidays anyway. In fact, worse case scenario, it becomes a big shopping day and retail workers have to work longer hours. It's all in how it's executed. A far more certain solution would be longer hours, more locations, vote by mail options, early voting, and other options to allow voters to vote in other ways or during other hours

Doc_17767 karma

Over the last 7 years have you seen any up swings/down trends in any political party? Are more people registering as an independent now compared to 2012?

NatlVoterRegDay5 karma

We don't track the party of people who register through our site. However, independent voters that are becoming more common broadly speaking... Check out https://www.npr.org/2016/02/28/467961962/sick-of-political-parties-unaffiliated-voters-are-changing-politics The article it a little dated, but the trends are continuing as far as I know.

Chtorrr5 karma

What would you most like to tell us that no one asks about?

NatlVoterRegDay10 karma

We cannot depend on political parties and candidates to get voters registered and participating. Because they are trying to win an election, they focus their limited time and money on contacting people with a history of voting. As a result, those who haven't voted in a while rarely get contacted, if ever. It is us to us as nonpartisan champions of greater participation to reach out to voters across the board, including those who have been left out of the process.

xoduspbc5 karma

Why aren't we allowed to fully register to vote online yet? After I 'register' I have to print and mail in a form. I don't mind, but just curious

NatlVoterRegDay9 karma

You're most likely in a state that does not have online registration. The third party tools (including the ones on our web site) that do "online registration" create PDFs of paper forms you mail in if you're not in an online registration state. If you are in one of the 37 or so online registration states, you are sent to the state online site to finish your registration.

Mortigi3 karma

What’s the best way to drive people to actually get out and vote after they register? I started polling my friends and even though many have registered almost none of them remember to vote in most elections.

NatlVoterRegDay3 karma

It depends on the election cycle. For "off-year" elections like 2019, the lack of information is a big barrier. Unlike a presidential election where folks at least know who's running, many voters don't know the mayoral, city council, school board races, etc. Providing good, nonpartisan information about what's on the ballot is important to getting people engaged. There are lots of good resources like ballotready.org, ballotpedia.org, and Vote411.org you can look at and share.

Librashell3 karma

Do you track what percentage of people you’ve registered actually vote? Many of these non-registered folks haven’t bothered previously so what is the motivator now?

NatlVoterRegDay5 karma

We don't track the bulk of people that register on National Voter Registration Day. However, we know from many studies that being asked to vote and participate, especially face-to-face, increases one's likelihood to vote. We're glad to say there are over 4,000 partners across the nation, including 1,600 nonprofits, 1,000 libraries, 600 universities, and more working today to register voters in their respective communities. In addition to getting voters registered, informing people about what's on the ballot, where polling locations are, polling hours, etc. are also important to increasing turnout. Today is about registration... the first step in that process.

jbrown72663 karma

Registering is half the battle Brian. I walk into my election room in the local high school, and all I have to do is show an ID & sign. Not to get political, but how are we making sure that people aren't forging ID's and their way through elections aka people who are not legal US Citizens?

NatlVoterRegDay7 karma

In-person voter fraud is extremely rare and when it does happen, it's almost never enough to sway an election. To sway an election with in-person voter fraud, you would need to have thousands of people colluding, registering in advance or showing up to vote with such forged IDs. If that forged ID is for a real, live person, they risk that same person showing up before them to vote in which case the poll workers would be alerted as soon as the "same person" shows up again. A far bigger problem we have as a nation is lack of participation... 1 in 5 voters are not registered to vote. That's the priority and the major problem we are focused on fixing.

FriendsWitBenedicts2 karma

Who funds you and who has access (either given or paid) to your data?

NatlVoterRegDay1 karma

We don't even have access to the voter data. We just aggregate the number of registrations our various partners tell us they each collected. As far as funders, it's a mix of foundations and corporate sponsors. We receive no political money. You can the list at the back of our 2018 final report here - https://nationalvoterregistrationday.org/about/2018-report/

onatural1 karma

Do you discriminate between voting party’s, or are completely impartial?

NatlVoterRegDay2 karma

We are completely nonpartisan. Some of our most important partners are the election directors and Secretaries of State across the nation who represent both sides of the aisle, but who have a shared goal of running good elections. My understanding is that most states actually require 3rd party groups doing voter registration to register people regardless of party affiliation.

GeeZeR_FroG1 karma

Hi Brian,

I'm gonna ask you what I ask every AMA. What is your favorite flavor of milkshake?

NatlVoterRegDay3 karma

I don't normally do milkshakes... but I'll do a vanilla frostie. Usually when my daughter want's one... I get 2! :)

zappini0 karma

Why doesn't the USA have a nation-wide voter registration system? Kept up to date automatically? Like every other mature democracy?

There are now multiple demographic databases. Why aren't they used as our VRDB (and by extension a complete census)?

From memory: Facebook, Palantir, LexisNexus (nee Seisent), the 3 big consumer credit agencies, NSA, ChoicePoint, NGP, VoterVault, etc. Soon, we'll have RealID.

These databases track every person living and dead in near real time. Add an "eligible to vote" field, and voila: nationwide automatic, universal voter registration.

Wouldn't this completely moot the annual voter registration fraud food fight?

NatlVoterRegDay5 karma

As you note, voting is governed by the states. Ex-felon voting rules vary by state. Some states allow 16-year-olds to pre-register while others don't. Importantly for us, registration deadlines vary from 30 days in advance of the election to Election Day itself (Same Day Registration). There have been a series of federal laws like the National Voter Registration Act (aka "motor voter"), MOVE (absentee ballots for overseas military personnel), etc. that establish national standards, but it's a bit of push-and-pull between states and the federal government. By holding National Voter Registration Day in late September, we can bring people's attention to getting registered before the various state registration deadlines start to kick in.

[deleted]0 karma

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NatlVoterRegDay3 karma

We work very closely with the National Association of Secretaries of State, as well as the National Association of State Election Directors, who are key partners of National Voter Registration Day. I know that they are taking cybersecurity very seriously. The Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Election Assistance Commission are also very engaged with the election officials to ensure voter registration rolls are sufficiently protected from any type of cyber threat, foreign or otherwise. And for what it's worth, actual election machinery / voting machines are not connected to the internet, and as a result, are far more difficult to hack.

demonspawn79-3 karma

Hi Brian. In 1997 Chuck Hagle was the first Republican in twenty-four years to win a Senate seat in Nebraska. Six years later in 2002, Hagel overwhelmingly won re-election with over 83% of the vote, the largest margin of victory in any statewide race in Nebraska history. Prior to his successful political career, Mr. Hagle was the CEO of American Information Systems Inc. (AIS), later known as Election Systems & Software.

In 2000, the people of the Untied States voted for Al Gore but W Bush got the presidency and plunged the country into another Vietnam. In 2016 the presidency was decided by the electoral college.

Why should I vote?

NatlVoterRegDay3 karma

The Electoral Collage only impacts the presidential race. This November, there are 35,000 races that have direct impact on people's everyday lives... mayors, school boards, city councils, and more. Our goal is to help as many voters as possible get registered before the various state deadlines so they can make their voice heard this November on these "close-to-home" elections.