Tuesday, September 25 has been designated Voter Registration Day. Before you write this off as yet another "day of some random significance" to ignore--take a moment to consider. Do you know for sure if you are properly registered to vote this election year?
If this seems like a strange question, it really isn't, for many people. Here's some eye-opening stats: A recent survey conducted by non-partisan voter registration organization HeadCount found that young voters who first cast a Presidential ballot in 2008 could be in for a surprise when they head to the polls this year.
Seven out of 10 of these voters had moved in the last four years, and 43 percent of those potential voters haven't updated their voter registration since. More than half weren't sure if they were registered to vote at their current address, nearly half are unsure of the ID requirements to vote in their state, and a whopping 62% have either not updated their voter registration or aren't certain if they have. That means that an awful lot of people this year may be having trouble at the polls.
Dave MatthewsWe're all aware of the importance to vote, but now HeadCount is aiming to educate young voters on the process of properly registering to vote. So today, more than 100 pop-culture figures, including musicians such as Dave Matthews, Linkin Park, Wilco, 50 Cent, Snoop Lion, Phish, Cake, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Jason Mraz, Ani DiFranco, and Weird Al Yankovic--plus many more--will be holding up signs saying "Register to Vote Here" on a special Facebook page which contains all the info citizens need to register and make sure they are ready to cast their vote legally in November.
There's absolutely no partisan slant, just a simplified process provided for any citizen who may be confused about voting this year. Just visit, click "Register to Vote," follow the steps, and that's it.
Grateful Dead and Furthur icon Bob Weir sits on the HeadCount board, and holds up his own sign to contribute to the cause. "Headcount's an outfit that specializes, among other things, in registering voters," he explains. "But it's staffed by people who are music junkies, and they go to concerts, and it's geared to people who are into music--which is basically a younger crowd."
He encourages everyone to visit HeadCount's site or Facebook page to follow the simple process. "You CAN register to vote here, so get busy and do it, it doesn't take much at all. It's real easy to do."
John McCrea of Cake is also on HeadCount's board and notes that even though one may feel discouraged about the current state of American politics, it's still important to get out there and vote. "I don't have a lot of hope for our current political system, but I feel strongly that we should give it our best shot before abandoning it entirely," he states. "Since voter registration lies at the very foundation of our political process, this is obviously a good place to start."
There's not only musicians involved in the campaign. A host of well-known comedians, TV and film folk are tied to the cause as well--with my personal favorite being 127 Hours' inspiration Aron Ralston proudly balancing his sign. So what are you waiting for? Visit the page, have some fun checking out your favorite stars...and register to vote today.