This year’s National Voter Registration Day (September 24) shattered records with an estimated 400,000 citizens registering for the first time or updating their voter registration. This unprecedented number is more than THREE TIMES the previous record set for an “off-year” focused primarily on local elections and far outpaced expectations.
Last week, 4,082 community partners – including nonprofits, libraries, colleges, local election offices, veteran groups, and more – joined with nationally-recognized partners such as Snap!, Facebook, Viacom, NALEO Educational Fund, United Way, EveryLibrary, League of Women Voters, and many more (see full list below) for a single day of coordinated, nonpartisan civic action promoting voter registration online and at in-person, community-based events across the nation.
Election officials helped champion the holiday with formal support from the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED), the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), and the National Association of Election Officials (Election Center). At the Congressional level, Republican Senator Roy Blunt and Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar joined forces to pass a bipartisan Senate resolution recognizing the holiday and its importance.
The holiday’s message was inescapable as it dominated social media with everyone from Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Leann Rimes, to political figures like Michelle Obama, Newt Gingrich, and others encouraging their followers to get registered. In the end, #NationalVoterRegistrationDay was the #1 trending topic on Twitter for most of the day, garnering nearly 100,000 tweets throughout the day.
“We are encouraged by the level of engagement this local election year,” said Lindsay Torrico, United Way Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy and National Voter Registration Day Steering Committee member. “We are hopeful that this year’s success is a preview of what’s to come in 2020.”
Next year’s presidential election is already dominating headspace and headlines, but with back-to-back record-breaking holidays, the 2020 goal of registering over one million voters as part of the national day of action appears to be a goal safely within reach for the partnering nonprofits and organizations that sign on for next year’s holiday.
However, while this year’s holiday is just ending, there is still much left to do in 2019.
“As much hard work as we have put into this and every holiday, it’s important for citizens to realize there is still time for them to get registered ahead of state and local elections in 2019,” says Andy Berenstein, Co-Founder and Executive Director at HeadCount. “Voter registration dates vary from state to state, but October 4 is a deadline shared by at least 13 states this year, which means you have time, but shouldn’t waste it.”
A comprehensive guide of state-by-state registration deadlines can be found here.
National Voter Registration Day is a single day of coordinated media and field events held on the fourth Tuesday of every September to help eligible citizens register to vote or update their voter registration ahead of the various state deadlines.
2019 Partners include: Alliance for Youth Organizing, American Library Association, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, The Andrew Goodman Foundation, Anonymous Content, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, APIA Vote, Arab American Institute, Creative Artists Agency, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Center Link, Country Music Television, CO-OPS Vote, Democracy Fund, Democracy Works, eBay, National Association of Election Officials, Every Library, Facebook, Fair Elections Center, Google, Headcount, Higher Heights, Independent Sector, League of Women Voters, Military Officers Association of America, MTV, NALEO Education Fund, National Association of Secretaries of State, National Association of State Election Directors, National Council of Nonprofits, National Disability Rights Network, National Urban League, New Leaders Council, Nonprofit VOTE, Reddit, Comic Relief, RISE, Rock the Vote, Snap Inc., Students Learn Students Vote, Turbo Vote, Tumblr, Twitter, United Way, Vote.org, Voto Latino, Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, U.S. Elections Assistance Commission, Univision, Viacom, When We All Vote, VH1, YWCA