According to a 2004 study by CIRCLE (The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement), 22% of 18-to-29-year-olds did not vote that year because they missed the registration deadline, and 10% of this group didn't even know where or how to register to vote.
But what if registering to vote were as easy as registering for classes?
In the near future, it just might be. The Student Voter Opportunity to Encourage Registration Act (AKA the VOTER Act) is a bipartisan bill that would designate federally funded colleges and universities as voter registration agencies. It would amend the National Voter Registration Act (AKA the Motor-Voter Act), which was passed by Congress in 1994 and requires state and local governments to offer voter registration when citizens obtain a driver’s license. The VOTER Act would let colleges register students to vote when they register for classes.
According to Matt Segal of SAVE (Student Association of Voter Empowerment), “If passed, this would give an unprecedented voice to the youth in our country.” The VOTER Act is headed for markup in the Committee on House Administration in the next few weeks and should move to the House floor shortly thereafter. Let your congressperson know what you think about it.