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Vote16USA

Vote16USA is a national campaign, organized by Generation Citizen, that aims to support efforts to lower the voting age on the local level, help start new local campaigns, and elevate the issue's prominence on a national level.

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Let’s help millions escape from voter registration limbo

Voter registration deadlines are here. What if that didn't matter?

It's two weeks from Election Day, and millions of potential voters are once again locked out of the democratic process. That's thanks to registration deadlines that have come and gone in many states, and the fact that fewer than half of states allow same-day voter registration.

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The 19 states in green (plus Washington, D.C.) will allow eligible residents to register to vote and then cast ballots on Election Day this year.

The 19 states where it's never too late to register

October is the last chance for most Americans to register if they want to vote for president this year. But 86 million eligible Americans, or one-third of the national total, can even sign up — and then proceed to cast a ballot — on Election Day.

That's because they live in the 19 states (plus D.C.) that allow what's known as same-day registration. Eligible residents will be able to show up at their neighborhood polling places on Nov. 3 and, so long as they can prove who they are and where they live, will be allowed to register and then head into a voting booth.

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"If you have to register on a paper form, mail it in as soon as you can," writes Tammy Patrick.

Voter registration deadlines — it's complicated

Arizona just extended its voter registration deadline from Oct. 5 to Oct. 23. This should give voters more time to sign up, but it also raises a host of issues for election administrators. And there may be complications on Election Day if too many voters register at the new deadline.

Why do some states have voter registration deadlines weeks before Election Day? It's often based on what's needed to process paper, which many states still use to run elections. Voter registration forms are gathered, voter lists are created and turned into paper signature rosters. Paper registers are sent to the polls. Data entry and printing take time when preparing for thousands, if not millions, of voters. States with modernized voter registration are better positioned to navigate the 2020 election.

Arizona voters can now submit registrations or request a mail-in ballot just 11 days before Nov. 3. Potentially thousands of registrations and ballot applications will be submitted close to the deadline. Waiting that long places a greater burden on election offices that are already stretched thin in the midst of a pandemic. It may also create avoidable issues for voters.

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So many voter toolkits, so little time. Here's where to go shopping.

Some advocacy groups try to influence lawmakers, others focus on making change through the courts. And then there are those working to engage the "regular" people by encouraging them to take action.

Now that voting has begun in much of the country, many democracy reform groups are stepping up their efforts to support voters by offering a trove of online tools designed to educate and engage the electorate in the final days of one of the most consequential presidential elections ever — and one facing a unique range of challenges because of the pandemic.

Below is a sampling. Find the one that's right for you. And if we missed something, let us know at newsroom@thefulcrum.us.

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