Editor's Note: This is the second article in Lisa Sharon Harper’s election season blog series, Watch the Vote. Read the first HERE.
A few folks got a brilliant idea and brought a bunch of organizations together to declare September 25, 2012 as the first ever National Voter Registration Day! Aka, for the Twitterverse, #925NVRD. Woot, woot!
Maybe, like me, you’ve moved since the last election. Or maybe you’ve just turned 18. Or maybe, somehow, you managed to sleep through the last two elections. Don’t know how you did it, and I’m not judging, but brother, son, sister, daughter, today is the day to get right with the Lord. In times like these no one can afford to sit back and watch this one like a reality show on Bravo TV. Exercise your dominion; register to vote today!
Thus, I hereby proclaim, this post will explicate, illuminate, and just plain explain a couple of cool ways you can exercise your dominion and register to vote today.
National Voter Registration Day Events (For those who are out and about today and don’t have the first clue where they can go to register to vote.)
According to the above website, 6 million Americans missed their chance to vote in 2008 because they missed the voter registration deadline. Each state has different deadlines for voter registration, but in most states the deadline is about 30 days from voting day. That usually places the first wave of deadlines in early October. The organizers of National Voter Registration Day decided on September 25 to make sure groups registering voters have enough time to properly submit everyone’s voter registration cards.
All over your community today, neighbors are helping neighbors exercise their dominion by registering them to vote. Click here to find a voter registration event near you. Just enter your zip code, and, behold, a list of voter registration sites in your community will appear. I plugged in mine and found 14 locations within 5 miles of my apartment.
But here’s the catch. Today is the only day you can take advantage of these voter registration events. Tomorrow they’ll be poof! So, get to seize the day. Carpe Diem! (Then tweet about it and use the hashtag #925NVRD!)
Turbo Vote (For those who prefer to register and vote while watching the “Revolution” on TV.)
I linked to Turbo Vote in last week’s post, but I really want to give a special shout-out here. Turbo Vote is the real deal.
This is how Turbo Vote describes itself: “We make the voting process as awesome as renting a DVD from Netflix. You sign up, and we'll keep track of all your rules and deadlines and even send you all the forms you need, so all you have to do is sign them and drop them in the mail. It's simple. It's fun. It's democracy, made awesomer.”
I moved to Washington, D.C., last year and only recently figured out the general vicinity of my local post office, let alone my polling place. Ugh! So, Turbo Vote was a life-saver for me. In a matter of minutes, I had punched in my info, clicked through and received already-filled-out forms that I could print and drop in the mail. Or, if I didn’t have a printer, or stamps, or an envelope (all three of which I didn’t have access to at the time) Turbo Vote would mail my already-filled-out forms to me with a pre-stamped, pre-addressed envelope. All I’d have to do it drop it in the mail! Done … and actually kind of fun.
And Turbo Vote can sign you up to vote by mail. So, if you’re planning to travel on November 6 or don’t feel like dealing with those who are planning to hassle folks at the polls, then you can vote from home and be part of the revolution while watching the new show “Revolution” on ABC. (That’s not a plug. I’ve never even seen the show. It looks cool, though.)
“Turbo” is a double entendre (i.e., the process is really, really, really fast and Turbo is also the name of the site’s pet pooch mascot. Turbo pops up whenever there’s important info to share.). Turbo Vote’s clean, simple look and feel make the process feel clean and simple, too.
Thanks, Turbo Vote! You’re a lifesaver!
Click back next Tuesday. I’ll offer an update on voter suppression shenanigans in key states with a brief reflection on the very first time I ever voted.
Lisa Sharon Harper is the director of mobilizing at Sojourners. She is also co-author ofLeft, Right and Christ: Evangelical Faith in Politicsand author of Evangelical Does Not Equal Republican ... or Democrat
Andrey Burmakin /Shutterstock.