With legal fights over the election being waged across the country and disinformation clouding the truth about voting systems, Americans can be forgiven for their confusion about how to cast a ballot this fall. Because each state sets its own rules — for registering, getting and returning vote-by-mail ballots, timetables for balloting in person and so many other things — keeping it all straight can be difficult for both voting rights advocates and individual voters.
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Tuesday marks six weeks until Election Day and is National Voter Registration Day, a moment to turbocharge sign-ups before it's too late. But the significant blow the coronavirus has dealt to civic engagement this year leaves in doubt how many millions of eligible but still unregistered Americans can be found and converted on the unofficial holiday.
Fresh national numbers from the Brennan Center for Justice, a progressive think tank which does some of the most extensive research on democracy's challenges, confirm the drop in registration compared to the last presidential election. The organization's analysis of 21 states found 17 have watched registration rates plummet since four year ago.
With the first deadlines coming the first week of October in 15 states, a bevy of groups with sometimes similar sounding names have refocused — or been formed — to push the uphill goal of finding millions more willing first-time voters, with an emphasis on younger people.
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- Coronavirus threatens to hobble voter registration efforts - The Fulcrum ›
Join the RepresentUs Advocacy Team for a volunteer onboarding call. You'll get to chat with our national organizer, Cam Cooper, and begin your journey to help end corruption.
During the call, you'll learn about:
- The current focus of work on anti-corruption initiatives across the country
- The strategy and tactics we'll be using to support those initiatives
- The ways you can lend your time to help end corruption nationwide
RepresentUs, a leading good-governance advocacy group, will host a star-studded virtual event on Sunday, hoping to raise $2 million for increased access to secure mail-in ballots and safe in-person voting.
Dubbed United to Save the Vote, the event will be emceed by actor Ed Helms with performances from Jennifer Lawrence, Zooey Deschanel, Sia, Dave Matthews, Sarah Silverman and other A-listers. It will support VoteSafe, a cross-partisan coalition chaired by Republican Tom Ridge, a former governor of Pennsylvania and first secretary of Homeland Security, and Democrat Jennifer Granholm, a former governor of Michigan.
"American voters face unprecedented threats to casting their ballots safely and securely during November's critical elections — from the ongoing pandemic to a dramatic shortage of poll workers to interference with the United States postal service, which undermines the security and validity of mail-in voting," the group said in announcing the event.
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