Today is National Voter Registration Day. It comes a mere six weeks before millions of Americans go to the polls to decide whether President Donald Trump should continue to have the backing of a Republican Congress.
As a news organization, it doesn’t matter to us whether you are motivated to vote because you want to put a check on Trump or whether you cast your ballot because you are supportive of his policies.
Our primary concern is that every eligible American who wants to vote is afforded the right to do so with minimal obstacles.
That is why WhoWhatWhy has covered election integrity more than any other issue this year. We believe that US democracy is under assault from the outside and from within, and not enough is being done to fight back.
Many Americans don’t participate in the democratic process at all. They don’t have the money to donate to candidates or the time to volunteer. And, for whatever reason, they just stay home when their fellow citizens stand in line to cast their votes. This is especially apparent in midterm elections, where turnout often does not crack 40 percent.
And then there is the segment of the population that we have focused on in recent coverage: Those Americans who want to vote but whose path to the ballot box is littered with hurdles — placed there by unscrupulous politicians whose goal is to keep certain demographics from voting.
The easiest way to do this is to deny them the right to register to vote in the first place or to invalidate their registration for phony reasons. This November, scores of Americans will show up at polling places just to find out that they are not — or no longer — registered.
Some will not bring the right kind of ID to the polling place and others will have been purged from the rolls because somebody in another state has the same name or because they didn’t respond to a postcard sent to their address a few years ago and didn’t vote in some previous elections.
To ensure this doesn’t happen, or at least to minimize the risk, people who think that they are registered in their state should double-check to make sure by clicking here. It takes less than a minute.
For all those not registered yet, time is running out. In many states, the registration deadline is 30 days prior to Election Day. You can find out here how much time you still have to register.
We believe that, no matter which candidate or party you support, voting is one of the most important things you can do this year, and we sincerely hope that you exercise that right.
So register today (or check your registration status), share these resources with your friends and family, and make your voice heard.
Thank you! And when you’re done, give yourself a pat on the back for safeguarding your own right to choose your future leaders.
Related front page panorama photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from logo (National Voter Registration Day 2018).