Ensuring Your Voice is Heard: 7 Ways To Get Out & Vote

Black Americans fought hard for the right to vote. Honor their legacy and overcome voter disenfranchisement by registering to vote today. Here are seven ways to do it.

The right to vote is a hard-won privilege, especially for Black Americans who faced significant obstacles and systemic discrimination to gain this fundamental right. The struggle for voting rights included overcoming barriers like literacy tests, poll taxes, and outright violence.

Landmark legislation such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965 played a crucial role in dismantling these barriers, but the fight for equal access to voting continues. Our civic duty is to vote and honor the legacy of those who fought for this right. Unfortunately, voter disenfranchisement remains a significant issue, with tactics such as voter ID laws, purging voter rolls, and reducing polling places disproportionately affecting minority communities.

Here are seven ways you can register to vote and ensure your voice is heard:

Online Registration

(Photo by Joshua Lott/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Many states offer the convenience of online voter registration. You can visit your state’s election website, fill out the necessary forms, and submit them electronically.

  • Pros: Quick and easy, accessible from anywhere with internet.
  • How to Do It: Go to your state’s official election website, find the voter registration section, and follow the instructions to complete and submit your registration form. Some states may require you to have a state-issued ID or driver’s license to complete the process.

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Mail-In Registration

You can obtain a voter registration form, fill it out, and mail it to your local election office. Forms are often available at public places like libraries and post offices.

  • Pros: Can be done at your own pace, no need for internet.
  • How to Do It: Pick up a voter registration form from a library, post office, or download it from your state’s election website. Fill out the form with your personal information and mail it to the address provided on the form. Make sure to send it well before the registration deadline to ensure it is received on time.

In-Person Registration

Photo by Joshua Lott/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Visit your local election office or other designated locations to register in person. This can often be done at county clerks' offices or during specific voter registration drives.

  • Pros: Immediate assistance available, can confirm registration instantly.

How to Do It: Find your local election office or a voter registration drive near you. Bring necessary identification documents, such as a driver’s license or state ID, and complete the registration form on-site. Staff members are usually available to assist you with any questions you may have.

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Registration at the DMV

Many states offer voter registration services at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). When you apply for or renew your driver's license, you can also register to vote.

  • Pros: Convenient if you’re already visiting for a license issue.
  • How to Do It: During your visit to the DMV for a driver’s license application or renewal, ask to register to vote. The DMV staff will provide you with the necessary forms and assistance to complete your voter registration as part of your transaction.

Registration at Public Assistance Offices

In some states, you can register to vote at public assistance agencies, including those providing SNAP and Medicaid services.

  • Pros: Accessible for individuals already using these services.
  • How to Do It: When visiting a public assistance office for services like SNAP or Medicaid, ask about voter registration. The staff can provide you with the registration form and help you fill it out. This ensures that even those receiving public assistance have an easy way to register to vote.

Voter Registration Drives

Nonprofit organizations and community groups often hold voter registration drives at community centers, college campuses, and other public places.

  • Pros: Convenient if you’re attending an event or visiting the location.
  • How to Do It: Look out for voter registration drives in your community, often advertised on social media, community bulletin boards, or local event listings. At these drives, volunteers will assist you with filling out the registration form and ensure it is submitted correctly.

Same-Day Registration

(Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Some states allow you to register and vote on the same day, typically during early voting periods or on Election Day itself.

  • Pros: Convenient for last-minute registrations.
  • How to Do It: Check if your state allows same-day registration by visiting your state’s election website. On Election Day or during early voting, go to your polling place with the required identification. You can register on-site and immediately cast your vote, ensuring your participation even if you missed the registration deadline.

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