Today, you may see more people than ever walking the streets.
You may get a phone call or an email.
But it’s not about selling anything: today is National Voter Registration Day.
This national day of action began in 2012 in response to the fact that millions of Americans were not voting because they missed a registration deadline, didn’t update their registration, or were not sure exactly how to register.
The effort to reverse that trend seems to be working. In 2016, more than 750,000 voters registered to vote on this day in all 50 states, according to www.nationalvoterregistrationday.org.
Some people don’t realize that if they move, they need to update their voter registration. Others simply forget, with all the other myriad details involved in moving.
“We’re a mobile society. The average NYSUT member moves several times in the course of his or her lifetime,” said NYSUT President Andy Pallotta. “Last year alone, more than 50,000 NYSUT members switched residences.”
Here’s how you can register to vote.
- Register in person at your county board of elections.
- Download a form or register online at www.nysut.org/ourvote.
- Submit your voter application form at the Department of Motor Vehicles, in person or on their website if you have DMV-issued identification.
- Request a New York State Voter Registration form by mail from the New York State Board of Elections.
- Call 1-800-FOR-VOTE hotline to request a voter application.
- For general information, visit www.elections.state.ny.us.
NYSUT sends voter registration forms to new members, and to those who have moved and notified the statewide organization.
The next election is November 6. Polls are open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
To find your polling place, go to: https://voterlookup.elections.ny.gov/votersearch.aspx.
Voter registration deadline is 25 days before the election.
In New York, college students may register at their campus address, or remain registered or register at their more permanent home address. Students can only be registered and vote in one location.
If you’ve gotten married, or turned 18, you will also need to register to vote or update your registration.
In the November 2016 election, New York had the eighth-worst voter turnout among all states, when just 57.2 percent of voting-age people actually voted, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures.
“Voting in primary and general elections,” said Pallotta, “is essential to keeping our representative democracy healthy and strong.”
Many high schools and colleges are hosting voter registration booths today. Mayors across the country- including the Big Five in New York- have pledged to promote voter registration today.