I'm the Executive Director of Nonprofit Vote, which serves as the managing partner of National Voter Registration Day (AKA TODAY!) Simply put, National Voter Registration Day is the nation’s biggest nonpartisan, civic holiday devoted purely to promoting voter registration. With a coalition of 4500 partner organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to local food banks and public libraries, Americans of every stripe join forces for a one-day, nationwide democracy blitz by way of in-person (and virtual) registration events all in pursuit of closing the voter participation gaps in our democracy. And since its inception, National Voter Registration Day and our partners have helped to close those gaps by nearly three million voters.

Proof: https://i.redd.it/67qgkvo4blo51.png

Update: Thanks for all of your questions!! Signing off now, but may try to get back to some when the craziness of today dies down. If we still didn't get to your question and you're still looking for an answer, feel free to email us at [email protected]. Happy National Voter Registration Day!

Comments: 951 • Responses: 51  • Date: 

MythicalGrain86 karma

If someone has had a recent change of name, yet only has the court order at this time (in other words the next step is social security), would they be able to vote utilizing their new name?

drunkdial_me42 karma

Like newly married but Rona has hindered getting official paperwork handled?

Samurai_Churro21 karma

Or divorced

NatlVoterRegDay22 karma

Voting requirements vary across states, so the best thing to do is check with your local election office! You may be able to update your registration to your new name right away. You can also call look to VoteRiders for assistance around proper voter ID.

NatlVoterRegDay15 karma

(Replying directly now) Voting requirements vary across states, so the best thing to do is check with your local election office! You may be able to update your registration to your new name right away. You can also call look to VoteRiders for assistance around proper voter ID. Click your state on their map: https://www.voteriders.org/

Eudaemonic02759 karma

I'd like to preface this by saying I think everybody should get involved and vote, in no way do I condone voter suppression in any form.

What is your opinion on the effect of "get out the vote" pushes with respect to the possibility that more voters show up/vote who are less informed and vote from a place of reaction?

PM_ME_KITTENS_OR_DIE45 karma

As someone who has worked as a poll official, I have personally seen this all the time. I would say about 1/3rd of people whom I processed during my state primary had very little or no idea about what candidates were on the ballot. I even had several people confused as to why they saw republican names on their ballot during the general election section, and more were confused as to why they didn’t see Joe Biden, or even Bernie Sanders on the list. It’s quite scary to me what that lack of knowledge entails, and I really do hope that this non-profit does something to combat the lack of information as well as register people to vote.

NatlVoterRegDay18 karma

The best GOTV strategies emphasize how you can be #VoteReady, and part of that is knowing what’s on your ballot! Tools like Vote411.org, BallotReady, and others provide great nonpartisan information about candidates so voters can feel ready to cast their ballot.

drunken_gibberish56 karma

What have you been doing to engage young voters? Historically low turnouts for millennials and upcoming Gen Z have been the dead horse we seem to keep beating with no effective solutions.

Of those who do show up to register/vote, have you found any underlying factors and/or commonalities that we can build on?

NatlVoterRegDay52 karma

Young people are less likely to vote because they have not voted before and have more barriers to overcome when it comes to casting their ballot for the first time. This year, especially, the process will be confusing for new voters and with new people turning 18 every year, it’s something we have to constantly keep in mind. If you want to learn more about young people turnout and their influence in the 2020 election, checkout civicyouth.org: https://circle.tufts.edu/

NatlVoterRegDay33 karma

We also know that voting is a habit. Once someone votes, they are more likely to vote in the following elections. This is partially because they are now familiar with the process, and it’s easier for them to continue voting. The best thing you can do to help people register and vote is support them in getting registered to vote and voting for the first time since the process is new and can be intimidating.

ThatBearTho51 karma

How hard is it to convince someone to be politically savvy now a days? Sure some people are convinced to vote and maybe see one or two things from a candidate then choose responding to that. It's being increasingly rare to find people that actually look at a candidates voter history.

NatlVoterRegDay28 karma

It’s not difficult to have a conversation about voting and politics if you approach it from the perspective that all U.S. citizens eligible to vote should be able to participate. Elections affect our lives and communities, and if you can help them see those connections they will be more inclined to vote. Tools like Vote411.org can help them learn more about candidates.

snatchsquatch314 karma

Vote411 only has information on ONE presidential candidate and hardly any useful information on my local races.

xhippieninjax2 karma

I just check through Vote411 and it showed me all presidential candidates, as well as, the rest of my ballot.

snatchsquatch38 karma

You are correct that all the candidates are listed - but their issues information is lacking. If you click on the candidates name, more information appears (but only for Biden). This is useful info when trying to make an informed decision on the candidates stance on issues.

NatlVoterRegDay8 karma

There are a few alternatives like ballotpedia and ballotready, sometimes depending on your region it can differ in amount. https://about.ballotready.org/

GuapChaser66122 karma

Okay so what if someone (definitely not me) lived in a state (definitely not California) where They can vote up to Election Day. And this persons 18th birthday was 2 weeks before Election Day, how do they go about registering? And are they still eligible for vote by mail?

NatlVoterRegDay11 karma

This is definitely a good question and worth asking - it's not something you've probably done before, but you can find yours here https://www.fvap.gov/search-offices - they're often very nice, very helpful and will help answer your questions directly.

Jayell416722 karma

How do I figure out if im eligible to vote?

NatlVoterRegDay22 karma

The easiest way is to check with your elections office. In short though, if you’re a US citizen and at least 18 years of age, you are eligible to vote in most states. There’s a few states that have restrictions on ex-felons voting. You can see those rules at https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/felon-voting-rights.aspx

Jayell41676 karma

Thank you for your reply. The problem im having is I had a felony as a minor and I think it got dropped but i am not sure. Trying to see who I would call to know if Im eligible. Are election offices by county? Or state?

NatlVoterRegDay12 karma

Try this link! https://www.fvap.gov/search-offices - definitely call them and check if you're not sure. Sorry it's not an easy lookup, but better safe than sorry

NotARealUnicorn19 karma

How do you encourage people when they say that their vote doesn't matter? It's usually from a place of cynicism and lack of faith in the system, or the sense that a single vote won't make a difference. It's hard for me to find the words to urge them to vote regardless.

Related, what are your thoughts on the role of the electoral college, and how do you rationalize it to those who see it as a justification to not vote? Recent elections where the winner did not have the majority of the popular vote have not helped this case, and to be honest, it discourages me as well, feeling like the power is not in the hands of the people.

NatlVoterRegDay10 karma

We understand feeling cynical about politics. With everything going on, it may seem like one vote doesn’t change an election. However, we know that’s not true! Many local elections are decided by just a few votes. Also, by voting and encouraging friends, community members, and peers to vote, you become a stronger voting bloc and more people that adequately represent you will start to run for office. While voting is critical, it’s just one piece of the puzzle, if you want to make further impact, you can volunteer with voter engagement organizations, learn more and share information about how to impact your community, and attend demonstrations or other events around issues you care about.

Trashpanda800015 karma

In a 2 party system with electoral college, how much of our vote really matters? What would it take to get ranked choice voting or another system that isn't just winner take all?

It feels like it's a constant tug of war every election cycle between the left and right to end up back at square 1. How can we work together to make real change?

NatlVoterRegDay16 karma

The presidential race is not the only election taking place this fall. There are tens of thousands of down-ballot races, Congressional races, governors, state legislators, mayors, ballot measures and more. Voting matters at every level.

NatlVoterRegDay9 karma

We pride ourselves on the fact that National Voter Registration Day has gained strong nonpartisan support. We have a Republican and Democratic Secretary of State on our Steering Committee. We have support from election officials across the nation, in both red and blue states. We can disagree on the issues, but there’s one thing we can all agree on, that our democracy works better when more people participate and vote.

anticlockclock11 karma

Is voting by mail a good way to vote this year with all the concern about USPS?

NatlVoterRegDay6 karma

We recommend that if you plan to vote by mail, make sure you request and return it ASAP - then you should have no issues. The problems come when you're cutting it close to the deadline and not giving yourself more than 2 weeks for it to return and for the ballot to come to you. USPS has issued warnings for the state's deadlines that even a non-covid, non-usps changing year is hard to meet already.

Dalpengi10 karma

I'm an immigrant, but I hear a lot of Americans are outright refusing to vote as a movement. I also heard that Americans historically haven't had the best voter turnout anyway so it may be ignored. I don't know who's right. Do you think abstaining from voting as a group is an effective protest?

NatlVoterRegDay8 karma

John Lewis encouraged people to get into good trouble and to vote. Elected officials are accountable to everyone in their jurisdiction, but they also prioritize voters. Even if a group does not think their votes will be able to elect the candidate of their choice, their votes do have a long lasting impact - the person who was elected won by a narrower margin and a strong showing at the ballot box can translate to more attention to their community. When it comes down to it, a non-vote won’t be tallied as part of a protest and won’t change the way any elected officials make decisions.

Spagaddie9 karma

I know you guys are focused on getting people to register and vote, but are there organizations that help with voter supression? Like what about places where people want to vote but have to wait for hours and hours?

NatlVoterRegDay8 karma

Voters should make sure they have all the information they need to make their voting process as smooth as possible. This includes knowing where their polling place is, when early voting is available, and what voter ID they may need. Canivote.org and VoteRiders are great resources for this info. If voters encounter trouble at the polls they can call 866-OUR-VOTE, the Election Protection hotline.

That_0ne_C0w9 karma

How much money do you spend every year on ads?

NatlVoterRegDay3 karma

Almost nothing. National Voter Registration Day’s huge success is due to partnerships, including major companies, nonprofits, and election officials who promote nonpartisan civic engagement to their staff and broader audiences.

Squirrel1798 karma

What are the hurdles to automatic voter registration?

NatlVoterRegDay6 karma

Under Section 7 of the NVRA, any state office that provides public assistance or operates state-funded programs that serve individuals with disabilities must offer opportunities to register to vote. As DMVs modernize, so does voter registration. We’ve seen that states that adopt AVR have higher turnout rates, making it a worthwhile investment. https://www.nonprofitvote.org/documents/2019/03/america-goes-polls-2018.pdf/

ComradeCatastophe8 karma

What is your favorite pizza topping?

NatlVoterRegDay7 karma

We like any pizza that shows up while we’re waiting in line on Election Day, delivered fresh and hot by our friends at Pizza to the Polls: https://polls.pizza/

Spagaddie7 karma

What should I do if I used to have a really immature signature (I used stars for capital cursive A's) and want to change my signature without getting my ballot thrown out?

(I'm planning on signing with the As just in case, but I don't want my ballot thrown out in the future).

NatlVoterRegDay6 karma

The elections office will typically use the signature you have on file with the DMV. Check out this resource to see if you live in a state that allows voters to correct mismatched signatures: v=https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/vopp-table-15-states-that-permit-voters-to-correct-signature-discrepancies.aspx

every_debris7 karma

I'm 2 years too young to vote. What can I do right now?

NatlVoterRegDay7 karma

There’s a lot you can do to encourage others to register to vote!If you're high school, you probably have seniors who are turning 18! You can share voter engagement information with them and other people your age who want to learn more about the process and also potentially help them understand that they can vote while they're in college https://www.nass.org/can-I-vote Depending on what state you’re in, 16 or 17-year-olds can also pre-register so they are automatically registered to vote when they turn 18. Did you know many states also let people under the age of 18 become poll workers? You can find out if you can be a poll workers here: https://www.powerthepolls.org/ Don’t forget, you can volunteer with voter engagement efforts in your city, participate in demonstrations, and share information with those who can vote.

darknep5 karma

Is there anything someone under 18 like me can do to encourage others to register?

NatlVoterRegDay6 karma

There’s a lot young people can do to encourage others to register to vote! If your under 18, you may still be in high school around seniors who are turning 18! You can share voter engagement information with them and other people your age who want to learn more about the process: https://www.nass.org/can-I-vote Depending on what state you’re in, 16 or 17-year-olds can also pre-register so they are automatically registered to vote when they turn 18. Did you know many states also let people under the age of 18 become poll workers? You can find out if you can be a poll workers here: https://www.powerthepolls.org/ Don’t forget, you can volunteer with voter engagement efforts in your city, participate in demonstrations, and share information with those who can vote.

SCTYA5 karma

If I want to vote Libertarian do I have to be a member of the party? I went to register for my absentee ballot and it only gave me the option for democrat or republican. Will the libertarian candidate be on those ballots?

NatlVoterRegDay7 karma

Party affiliation matters more for primaries. All the viable candidates will be on the ballot for the general election.

DeezNutzPotus20205 karma

Sorry if this come of as a troll, but it's not I'm genuinely curios and concerned about the election having votes counted.

If vote by mail is so safe, than why I can Google the term "lost votes" with any state after it and articles will come up saying tens of thousands of votes have been lost in whatever the most recent election was including the democrat primaries?

NatlVoterRegDay9 karma

Often those articles when they say “lost”, it actually just means not returned. For example states that automatically mail ballots to registered voters, try to reduce the barrier to vote by proactively doing so. The voter though may choose to actually go vote in the polling place instead and not need the ballot. It’s not “lost” since it’s not mandatory to be returned. Also every election system does have hiccups and election officials work their hardest to minimize errors and ensure accurate election results by doing signature verification so people can’t fill out extra ballots. They even do audits to make sure nothing went wrong and to make things even more efficient in the future. Occasionally voters lose ballots mailed to them, or they take a long time in the mail, or a request gets lost. Luckily, 39 states have ballot trackers so you can monitor the progress of your ballot!

DeezNutzPotus20205 karma

Ahh, thank you for that. I'll have to read through some of them and see if that's what they mean. I know a few of them did mention some of the #s were "not counted" votes that were mailed in or recieved late but it also seemed there were a number of just flat out missing votes as well.

I'll reread through some keeping your notes in mind. Much appreciated.

NatlVoterRegDay5 karma

That's also why we're encouraging people to request early this year to avoid any usps delays, ie at least 2 weeks before any absentee ballot request deadlines

Sgt-Automaton3 karma

What can you say to people who feel their vote is meaningless when compared to the electoral college vote?

NatlVoterRegDay8 karma

The presidential race is not the only election taking place this fall. There are tens of thousands of down-ballot races, Congressional races, governors, state legislators, mayors, ballot measures and more. Voting matters at every level.

Kar8113 karma

If I just moved from one state to another and don’t yet have a state I.D can I still register to vote in my current state? If so, how?

NatlVoterRegDay8 karma

Yes, no state has a voter registration deadline further than 30 days out. So you should be able to get whatever ID your state needs, if any, and get registered before the registration deadline. As a side note, if you move within 30 days of the election and the state you moved to bars you from voting due to a registration deadline or residency requirement, you can still legally vote in your former state, at least in the national races (president).

EndGeek2363 karma

What is the deadline for me to get a state ID in order to vote? I live in Arizona btw.

NatlVoterRegDay3 karma

Our partners at VoteRiders are a great source for these types of questions, which vary by state. Check out their site here: https://www.voteriders.org/staterules/.

jakonr433 karma

I’m 17 and can’t vote this election can I still register to vote now?

NatlVoterRegDay3 karma

That's okay!! Depending on which state you're in and if you’re 17, 17.5, will turn 18 by the election etc, there may be an option for you to register now. Find your state on this list: https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/preregistration-for-young-voters.aspx

PorkLore213 karma

As someone who can’t vote, how could I help?

NatlVoterRegDay3 karma

Many states will allow you (if under 18, etc.) to still volunteer as a poll worker. However, if that not possible, there’s always places that are looking for volunteers on nonpartisan phone banks, etc.

BoatyMacBoaterFace2 karma

Are undocumented people allowed to vote? Even if they’ve been paying taxes?

NatlVoterRegDay5 karma

Non-citizens, whether documented or not, are not allowed to vote in federal elections. Some local governments do allow non-citizens, and even 16 and 17-year olds, to vote in local elections for school board, city council, etc., but that is not the norm. Most states simply follow the federal guidelines.

Oh-Yes4202 karma

Thoughts on removing the electoral college?

NatlVoterRegDay5 karma

We’re not sure how abolishing the electoral college would change voter turnout. However, we do know that every year there are hundreds of elections that the Electoral College doesn’t affect such as your local and state representative, your senators, and more.

Pheonix_Slayer2 karma

I received like 3 early vote by mail applications and I filled them out and sent them off right away. Should I have only done one? Is it a problem if I sent off more then one?

NatlVoterRegDay8 karma

You should only do that once. That said, if you sent back more than one absentee ballot REQUEST form, hopefully election officials can work out the duplication on their end and send you one ballot. Casting 3 actual BALLOTS would be against the law.

joeydeath5382 karma

Probably not the right AMA, but...I'm concerned about my local polling places being under threat from extremists. What can we do to keep voting spots secure?

NatlVoterRegDay4 karma

If you’re worried about facing issues at the polls, there are hotline where you can report problems. Save 866-OUR-VOTE in your phone in case there are any issues and share the hotline with others. https://866ourvote.org/

FordMan1002 karma

Can you list the states with the dates that absentee ballots will be first mailed out?

NatlVoterRegDay2 karma

You should check out when your ballot may be coming to you or where you can request a ballot here: https://www.nass.org/can-i-vote/absentee-early-voting You can also check out when you might get your ballot from this article in the hill: https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/515162-heres-the-earliest-you-can-vote-in-each-state

Drugkidd2 karma

Should I be concerned about a mail in ballot and is it worth risking health to vote in public?

NatlVoterRegDay3 karma

The surest way to make sure you mail-in ballot counts is to mail it early, at least a week before the election. If you can’t do that, bring it to a drop off box or post office to get a postmark stamp. Finally, 40 or so states now offer ballot tracking that works much like a USP tracking code. You can check online to verity your ballot has arrived and has been counted. If enough people do that, then there should be smaller crowd on Election Day, which means a safer place to vote for those who just need to vote in person. Check out https://www.nonprofitvote.org/documents/2020/09/tips-supporting-voting-mail.pdf/ for more.

ConsttutionalPeasant2 karma

How do you think voter turnout and how candidates would try to increase it would change if we were to abolish the electoral college?

NatlVoterRegDay2 karma

We’re not sure how abolishing the electoral college would change voter turnout. However, we do know that every year there are hundreds of elections that the Electoral College doesn’t affect such as your local and state representative, your senators, and more.

pm_me_pics_of_snakes1 karma

I recently moved to a different state, do I need an in state ID to register in my new state?

NatlVoterRegDay2 karma

only if your new state has online registration and you want to register online, otherwise you don't need a new state ID. You definitely do need to register again, feel free to register on our website to get a pre-fill paper form if you don't have a printer or a stamp to return the paper application https://nationalvoterregistrationday.org/register-to-vote/

theseallyseal1 karma

What would be your opinion on compulsory voting like in Australia where it is* required to vote and everyone is automatically registered regardless. I think, if I remember correctly you are fined if in case you fail to cast a vote, $50 I think it was?

NatlVoterRegDay2 karma

Compulsory voting is not part of our election culture here in the United States. Since we have a decentralized voting system - states and counties create their policies around election administration - it is possible that a state pass a law making voting compulsory, but it would likely be challenged in court. Rather than requiring everyone to vote we are focused on making it so everyone is registered and ready to participate in elections.

owendershot1 karma

I'm under contract for a home & plan to move on October 7th. I live in Colorado where mail-in-voting has been the standard for some time.

How do I ensure that my ballot is sent to the appropriate place?

NatlVoterRegDay2 karma

That’s a great question! One option is to take it straight to the place it’s supposed to go: your local election office, or to a drop box in your jurisdiction. Many states also offer the option to track your ballot, much like you can do with a FedEx package: see here for more: https://www.nbcnews.com/specials/plan-your-vote-state-by-state-guide-voting-by-mail-early-in-person-voting-election/

SinisterCheese1 karma

As a foreigner: could you explain the whole reguster to vote thing? Why does it matter that you register with a party? Does it?

This all sounds very strange to me. Especially since I'm told that minorities often can not register to vote?

NatlVoterRegDay3 karma

Don’t believe everything you hear! If you’re 18 and a citizen of the United States, you are indeed eligible to vote, and we urge you to get registered today ahead of all state deadlines. In some states, you can even pre-register to vote at the age of 16 or 17 so that you’re automatically added to the rolls as soon as you’re eligible.

GoldHeartInc1 karma

How would you convince a person that believes the electoral college invalidates their individual vote to think otherwise, especially after the last popular vote for presidency didn’t align with the victor?

NatlVoterRegDay3 karma

The presidential race is not the only election taking place this fall. There are tens of thousands of down-ballot races, Congressional races, governors, state legislators, mayors, ballot measures and more. Voting matters at every level.

SirBrandalf1 karma

If I voted in the primaries I'm good to go correct?

NatlVoterRegDay3 karma

Not quite! For the national election, there’s a new ballot (president, any local, etc) so depending on your state you may also have new choices of how to vote. Find your state on this map to see what new options you might have, if you haven't moved and you voted in person for the primary, you can do that again at the same polling place.

snowgrisp1 karma

As an immigrant, I can’t vote but I’m paying taxes and all the policies do affect me and my family. How can we help?

NatlVoterRegDay7 karma

Great question! Voting is just one piece of being part of an active democracy. As an immigrant who is not currently eligible to vote, you can still share information with friends, family, and the community about registering to vote. You can also volunteer with organizations that support voting work, attend demonstrations, and work with candidates that you support!