Monday, September 26, 2016

Are you ready to vote? Are your family and friends? It's time! - Lily's Blackboard

Are you ready to vote? Are your family and friends? It's time! - Lily's Blackboard:

Are you ready to vote? Are your family and friends? It's time! 

September 27 is National Voter Registration Day, and across the nation, nonprofit groups and volunteers are hitting the streets to register voters. In 2002, the National Association of Secretaries of State first established September as National Voter Registration Month to encourage voter participation and let everybody know what’s required to register in his or her state. (Interesting trivia: Every state except North Dakota has a registration requirement for voting.)
The state secretaries’ association offers several resources on its website along with a short video to answer questions about voter registration.
According to the most recent Census numbers, approximately 62 million eligible Americans are not registered to vote. The number of voters who simply don’t show up, and  falling participation rates among registered voters, let us know we’ve got plenty of work to do before Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 8).
In most states, you can check your voter registration status online; in more than 30 states and Washington, you canregister online.  Plenty of information is out there, so there’s really no good reason for not voting. (OK, this might be one. But if you’re planning this kind of adventure for Election Day, you can always vote early or absentee.)nvrd
No doubt, you’ve heard about the states where legislatures are making it harder for citizens to vote.They’ve instituted ID requirements, shortened early voting periods, eliminated early voting on Sundays and eliminated same-day registration. Those laws have been challenged in court, and some have been found to be unconstitutional. However, 14 states have voter restrictions on the books for the first time in a presidential election, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.
On August 6, 2015, the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, here’s what President Obama said about new restrictions on voting:
“Fifty years ago, registering to vote across much of the South meant guessing the number of jellybeans in a jar or bubbles in a bar of soap. And while the Voting Rights Act broke down many of the formal and more ridiculous barriers to voting … there are still too many barriers to the vote, and too many people trying to erect new barriers to the vote.”
Because we’re educators, we believe that all students should have the opportunity for a great education, one that will prepare them to lead our democracy. But too often, public policy decisions are made that devalue students and destabilize public education. That gives us extra reason to be active participants in our democracy.
“We as citizens must take action and must make our voices heard with our vote,” says Lucia Baez, an NEA activist Are you ready to vote? Are your family and friends? It's time! - Lily's Blackboard:

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