There’s much noise popping off in the media, so it’s understandable if one of the most important days of the year slipped past you. It is not the fact that Pope Francis landed in the U.S. for the first time yesterday (September 22).
The same day the Pope landed was also Voter Registration Day, which is a nationwide push from celebrities, activists and nonprofits around the country that seek to ensure all Americans know how to register to and vote.
In 2008, a staggering 6 million people in the United States missed the deadline or did not get to exercise their constitutional right to vote. It was simply because they did not know the local eligibility rules, which politicians are continuously playing games with.
According to stats, over 12,000 Americans turn 18 every day. If they all voted, “Millennials” could comprise up to 40% of the voting bloc in the United States. However, the process of voting can be confusing, especially if you are in college and live in another state.
In addition to celebs like Kylie Jenner, Lil Jon and ILoveMakonnen, activists, nonprofits and students around the country are pitching in to make sure people exercise their right to vote in the 2016 Presidential Elections.
Hundreds of undergraduates from dozens of universities are traveling to Harvard this week to participate in an intensive training session hosted by the university’s Institute of Politics (IOP).
The “Campus Activation: Increasing Student Voting and Political Engagement” conference is a result of a partnership between the IOP and 27 universities around the country. The partnership molds future leaders by focusing on electoral politics, career development in public service and civic education.
From September 25-27, students will receive grassroots organizational training, while learning how to use technology to drive political engagement.
Congressman Joe Kennedy III, U.S. Congresswoman (R-NY) and former IOP student advisor Elise Stefanik, Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, former IOP Fellow Matt Lira, former IOP Fellow Teresa Villain and Rock the Vote President Ashley Spillane are guest speakers this year.
The students take the tactics they learned from the IOP to boost voter registration at their local campuses. The information will be handy, especially in light of the Brennan Report. It was also released yesterday and calls for a new plan to automatically register every eligible American citizen to vote.
The plan could add over 50 million new voters. Check out Rock The Vote as a resource for this year’s election cycle and stay informed.