CATEGORY: NASS

Secretaries of State Celebrate September 22 as National Voter Registration Day

National Association of Secretaries of State Aims to Increase Awareness for Voter Registration "Tools and Rules"

For Immediate Release
September 22, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC - The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), which represents chief state election officials throughout the U.S., is reminding eligible voters that today is National Voter Registration Day.

Supported by NASS since its creation in 2012, National Voter Registration Day is a collaborative effort with more than 2,000 groups dedicated to creating a non-partisan, celebratory atmosphere around the process of registering to vote.  

"Secretaries of State are celebrating National Voter Registration Day with a unified call for engagement and participation," said NASS President Tom Schedler, who serves as Louisiana Secretary of State. "We are working hard to promote state 'tools and rules' for voting, as well as any registration deadlines that may be approaching."

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill and Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon provide bipartisan NASS representation on the National Voter Registration Day Steering Committee. 

"To help promote National Voter Registration Day, Secretaries of State across the nation are challenging Americans to get registered to vote by leveraging the power of social media and viral video," noted Alabama's Merrill, whose office took a literal approach to voter registration "kickoff" efforts with the release of two videos featuring University of Alabama and Auburn University football coaches, Nick Saban and Gus Malzahn. The videos have appeared on jumbotrons in Bryant-Denny and Jordan-Hare Stadiums.

"Despite years of progress in adding a significant number of new voters to the rolls, more than five million Americans didn't vote in last year's midterm elections because they missed a registration deadline or didn't know how to register," said Minnesota’s Simon. "National Voter Registration Day gives us the chance to reach the many thousands of potential voters who still have time to register and participate in their state's November elections and the upcoming presidential contests for 2016."

Simon also released a video, "Stay Restless,” which highlights the importance of Minnesotans using their vote as their voice and encourages eligible citizens to register to vote.

This year's National Voter Registration Day marks the first time that well over half of the eligible voting population in the U.S. can register to vote via the Internet. Twenty-four states currently offer online voter registration, with Nebraska launching its new system as part of this year's National Voter Registration Day celebration. A full list of state voter registration links is available here.

More states plan to register voters online by 2016. Following Nebraska and Pennsylvania, which launched its new online registration system last month, Vermont has announced plans to launch its online system in October. Iowa will begin offering online registration in January 2016.

Celebrate National Voter Registration Day: 

Get registered to vote. Eligible citizens who are 18 years of age or older may register to vote. Every state except North Dakota has a registration requirement for voting. Register to vote at www.CanIVote.org

Check your voter registration information. Updating voter registration information is critical for people who have recently moved, changed their name or had their voting rights restored. Most states allow eligible voters to verify their registration status online. Visit www.CanIVote.org for information.

Spread the word. Be sure to discuss the importance of voting and voter registration with friends, family and neighbors. Share the #CelebrateNVRD hashtag on social media.

For more on National Voter Registration Day, including events in your area, please visit www.NationalVoterRegistrationDay.org.

About NASS

Founded in 1904, NASS is the oldest, nonpartisan professional organization of public officials in the U.S. Membership is open to the 50 states and all U.S. territories. NASS serves as a medium for the exchange of information between states and fosters cooperation in the development of public policy. The association has key initiatives in the areas of elections and voting, state business services and digital archiving, as well as several well-established awards programs. NASS also offers two membership sections for state government professionals: Administrative Codes & Registers (ACR) and Notary Public Administrators (NPA).

NASS has two standing committees that deal with election issues:

The NASS Elections Committee is co-chaired by Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant. The committee is dedicated to educating and informing members about state election administration practices and laws, as well as tracking proposed federal legislation and the activities of other federal government entities. 

The NASS Voter Participation Committee is co-chaired by Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill and Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea. The committee is devoted to identifying state strategies for increasing or enhancing practices on voter education and outreach, as well as serving as a clearinghouse for information on voter participation and civics outreach programs.

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Media Contact 

Kay Stimson 202.624.3528, or nass@sso.org