It’s National Voter Registration Day!

I didn’t really value my right to vote until the Supreme Court started messing with the Voting Rights Act. That’s when I saw what voter suppression was. Up until then, I took my right to vote for granted. Not everybody has an easy time voting, and National Voter Registration Day makes sure that everyone has a say in our country’s future.

No matter where you live, you can contribute to advancing progress by participating in our democratic system and voting, and I really love that. My husband and I are in our 80s and we can’t go out to march or rally. But I can write letters and attend meetings. We can all do something, and we all have our part!

As a retired schoolteacher, I know the importance of a good education. Student success in the classroom is often the result of some basics: showing up and being prepared to participate. The same rules apply to civic engagement. You’ve got to be registered to cast a ballot.

Yet, 6 million Americans didn’t vote in 2008 because they either missed a registration deadline or didn’t know how to register altogether. That’s why National Voter Registration Day (Sept. 22) is such a big deal.

Volunteers and organizations across the country are in motion to reach thousands of people, reminding them why their voices need to be heard and why their participation is vital. Our country stays strong when all voters are informed and know what’s at stake and who’s standing with women and families. Step one in shaping the direction of our communities, states and country is being registered to vote.

National Voter Registration Day provides hundreds of resources and events to set everyone on the right track for Election Day in November. From bringing new voters into the fold to reminding longtime voters how to stay current and registered, this is a day that celebrates one of the biggest protections our democracy offers. Do your part and get started now.

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