Student Ambassadors Join the Nation in Registering to Vote

By Zachary Smith '22 | September 26, 2019

Brendan Flaherty and Melanie Fey

National Voter Registration Day fell on September 24 this year, and Saint Anselm College students joined thousands across the country by taking part in the festivities. Students and staff flocked to Alumni quad to have some fun while they learned about the upcoming elections and voter registration process.

As stated on the National Voter Registration Day website, “every year, millions of Americans find themselves unable to vote because they miss a registration deadline, don’t update their registration, or aren’t sure how to register.” The goal for this day is to encourage citizens to register to vote, and to provide them with the tools needed to register.

The first time National Voter Registration Day was held was in 2012, and since then it has grown into a national holiday focused on celebrating and promoting American democracy. It is set to occur on the fourth Tuesday of September and next year’s is already set to be held on September 22, 2020. The national campaign is hoping to mimic its success from last year, as over 800,000 people nationwide registered to vote on National Voter Registration Day in 2018.

On this day every year, local organizations, businesses, election offices, and volunteers head out into the streets of America and try to spread the word on voting. The Saint Anselm community joined the rest of the nation as students in the Kevin B. Harrington Student Ambassador Program hosted an event to help inform Saint Anselm students about voting and the registration process. The Alumni quad was taken over by corn-hole and Ben and Jerry’s, as the students running the event had lots of ice cream as well as games to entertain people. Over 30 students were able to register to vote for the first time in their home states at the event and several others learned how to register to vote and committed to vote in the upcoming elections.

National Voter Registration Day is important as voter turnout for elections, especially the primaries, is not where Americans want the numbers to be. According to the Pew Research Center, “most Americans – 70% in a recent Pew Research Center survey – say high turnout in presidential elections is very important.” However, only, “56% of the U.S. voting-age population cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election,” so hopefully the rest of the country shared similar success to the event hosted on campus.

To find out about voter registration deadlines by state, voting times and locations, whether or not you’re eligible to register, and other general voter information, please visit https://nationalvoterregistrationday.org/.