As election season heats up, voter registration is coming closer to the forefront of the minds of many Americans. More than ever, with a country apparently split along party lines and policy issues, it is essential to maintain American democracy through our civic duty: voting, one of only a few ways that citizens can make their voices heard. In order to vote, you must register to vote.
In many states, and the District of Columbia, registration is available online through Vote.gov, though this does depend on each individual state’s legislation on the matter. In all states, though, you can register to vote in person, including at your state or local election office, the Department of Motor Vehicles, armed forces recruitment centers, local Democrat or Republican headquarters, or state and county public assistance offices. Check your local area to see what would be the most convenient for you.
Many students at Greensboro College, though, are far from their permanent residences. Several students are from states like Florida or Virginia, which makes it hard to get home and register during the school year. It is important to check to see whether you can register online with your state so you can save yourself a trip home.
Freshmen in particular who live in states other than North Carolina could register in North Carolina and then change later if they move out of Greensboro after their graduation. If students register, they can even apply for an absentee ballot and mail their vote in.
Even though it might sometimes be difficult to make it happen, it is crucial to the survival of our democracy that everyone, especially young people, register and eventually vote in every election. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2016, 51% of young people (ages 18-24) reported registering to vote, with only 39% actually voting.
Every single American citizen must make their voice heard to make sure that our democracy is maintained. The voices of students in particular should be heard because even though they might be new to voting, their vote counts just as much as anyone else’s. Therefore, in order to maintain our democracy, the voices of all Americans, even young ones, must be heard.
To register to vote online, you can go to youthvote.org
By Tess Perdue