Americans are sharply divided about politics, but one thing we can all agree on is the importance of voting, and to do that, you have to register to vote.
Women made up about 53 percent of voters in the last U.S. presidential election according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As U.S. citizens who are at least 18 years old, more than 120 million women are eligible to vote; about 60 percent of that number voted in 2012. Countless more missed out on the chance to vote because they missed voter registration deadlines in their state.
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is one of thousands of nonprofits, businesses, and other groups participating in National Voter Registration Day 2016, Tuesday, September 27.
The five steps below to make sure your vote counts are from Vision 2020, a national coalition of organizations and individuals working together to achieve economic, political and social equality for women.
Five Steps to Make Sure Your Vote Counts in 2016
1. Check your voter registration status.
Are you registered to vote at your current address? Have you recently moved or changed your name?
2. If necessary, register to vote or update your voter registration record.
Registering to vote is quick and easy. Many states now allow you to register to vote entirely online.
3. Learn about early voting in your state.
Most states offer some combination of absentee voting, and early in-person voting. Absentee voting is now available in most states without an "excuse," e.g. absence from your precinct on Election Day.
4. Find your polling place.
If you plan to vote on Election Day, learn the location of your polling place.
5. Learn about voter ID requirements.
Some states require voters to show a photo ID or some other form of ID in order to vote a normal ballot.
Encourage Others to Register
Learn more about National Voter Registration Day in a free webinar Thursday, August 25th. RSVP for the webinar.
The sites below all offer information for voters.
Nonprofit VOTE provides state-specific links that go directly to the relevant pages on your state's elections website, including your state's voter registration lookup page, polling place finder, and more. Nonprofit VOTE is an Ally of Vision 2020.
Vote411 (League of Women Voters)
Vote411.org provides voting information organized by state and by subject, including links to your state's voter registration lookup page, polling place finder, and more. (The League of Women Voters is an Ally of Vision 2020.)
Vote.org has tools that allows you to enter your name and current address and learn whether you are registered to vote at that address, update your registration, and obtain an absentee ballot.
Rock the Vote specializes in voter registration, with a focus on helping young people to register and vote. (Rock the Vote is an Ally of Vision 2020.)
TurboVote also specializes in voter registration, although its tool will also help you to find your polling place and find a voter guide.