FLORIDA — National Voter Registration Day, celebrated annually on the fourth Tuesday of September since 2012, is Sept. 22 this year. The day is “a nonpartisan civic holiday celebrating our democracy,” according to the National Voter Registration Day campaign.
The effort to register as many people to vote as possible has increased during the 2020 election season, which includes a presidential campaign amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
“Voter registration is more important than ever this year,” the organization said in a statement. “This year, we’ll also use the holiday to raise public awareness not only of voter registration options, but also alternative means of voting across the country.”
Here are five things to know about Voter Registration Day, and how you can take part in Florida.
1. Has ‘National Voter Registration Day’ worked? Nearly 3 million voter registrations have been made on the day since it began, the campaign said. More than 300,000 Americans registered to vote on the inaugural day, Sept. 25, 2012, and the number has been gradually increasing ahead of election days ever since, with around 800,000 new registrations recorded on the day in 2018, according to date from the National Day Calendar. In 2019, there were 473,725 voter registrations on National Voter Registration Day, a number the organization said is more than three times the previous record during a year without a federal election.
2. Foot Locker Rocks The Vote This Year: The national athletic gear chain is partnering with the progressive “Rock the Vote” campaign to offer voter registration help at 200 of its stores beginning this week in alignment with National Voter Registration Day. Foot Locker says it’s leveraging its brand’s relationship with the 18- to 24-year-olds of Generation Z. The company said it will have a “one-click” access to a digital hub where customers can check their voter registration status, register to vote and sign-up for election reminders.
3. Voter Registration Events Near Me: The National Voter Registration Day has a directory of planned events, both in-person and virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic, on its website. In Florida, these events are planned:
Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner Talks with Sarasota County Government on National Voter Registration Day, 10 a.m. Sept. 22, virtual event GET DETAILS & RSVP
Miami Pearls Book Club A Voter Registration Event, 6 p.m. Sept. 22 via Zoom, GET DETAILS & RSVP
4. How To Vote-By-Mail In Florida: More than 80 percent of American voters will have the opportunity to vote-by-mail in the upcoming Nov. 3 election, by far the most in U.S. history. Absentee voting is allowed for all in 34 states, and only six states require an “excuse” other than fear of the coronavirus to vote-by-mail. In Florida, a request for a vote-by-mail ballot may be made on your county supervisor of elections' website; by email, fax, or mail to the supervisor of elections; in person at the supervisor of elections; or by calling the supervisor of elections. The deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot is 5 p.m. on Oct. 24.
5. Know What’s On Your Ballot: All eyes will no doubt be on the presidential election, with Republican President Donald Trump seeking re-election against Democratic challenger and former Vice President Joe Biden. But the Nov. 3 election will also feature political races at the state, county and local level in some places. Vote411.org, in addition to offering help with registering to vote, has information on what’s on your ballot.