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Register to Vote

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Everyone should have the right to vote in free and fair elections regardless of who they are or where they live. To that end, FairVote advocates for enshrining an affirmative right to vote in the U.S. Constitution. In pursuit of that ideal, FairVote works to enact policies at the federal, state, and local levels that are consistent with our conviction that voting is not a privilege, but a right.



Maryland General Assembly Approves Civics Requirement
Former FairVote Board Member's Bill Approved
State HouseThe Maryland General Assembly passed SB 128, a bill directing schools to teach the U.S. Constitution, Maryland Constitution and give eligible students an opportunity to register to vote. FairVote has been a vocal advocate for strengthening the state's civics curriculum and giving students an opportunity to register to vote before they leave high school. FairVote's Youth Voter Registration and Education Project will help Maryland high schools meet the new requirement through a voting curriculum available in Fall 2007.

Federal law already requires that schools celebrate Constitution and Citizenship Day on September 17th, but the Maryland bill specifies what teachers should include in their curriculum to fulfill the preexisting requirement. This bill is a great first step toward FairVote’s goal of the government sharing the responsibility of voter registration with its citizens and educating students about voting before graduation. Former FairVote board member and first-term Senator Jamie Raskin introduced the bill.

UPDATE: House of Delegates Passes Bill 138-1 (3/31/07)

[Read SB 128]
[Learn the history of Constitution Day]
[High School Registration FAQ]


Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) Introduces RTV Amendment
FairVote Board Member Renews Effort to Constitutionally Protect the Right to Vote
JacksonFairVote board member, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) proposed a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to vote. With the support of fifteen co-sponsors, Rep. Jackson’s amendment would explicitly guarantee all Americans the right to vote, which would eliminate the patchwork system of election laws that is currently in place. Because there is no right to vote clearly stated in the U.S. Constitution, individual states set their own electoral policies and procedures in areas such as ballot design, polling hours, voting equipment, voter registration requirements and ex-felon voting rights. As a result, our electoral system is divided into 50 states, more than 3000 counties and approximately 13,000 voting districts, all separate and unequal.

[Read the RTV Amendment-H.J. Res. 28]
[Learn More About FairVote's Right to Vote Initiative]
[Frequently Asked Questions About the Right to Vote]


Minnesota's Secretary of State Unveils FairVote-Backed Legislative Agenda
Proposals Expand Voter Registration and Improve Elections

Minnesota’s Secretary of State Mark Ritchie proposed an ambitious legislative agenda that expands participation and increases voter registration. Under his plan, Minnesotans would automatically register when they receive their driver’s license or state-issued ID. In addition, voters who change their address at the post office would automatically have their voter registration updated. Ritchie’s proposal will cut down on administrative data entry work that could save local governments throughout the state a substantial amount of money. The legislative agenda also includes: online voter registration, expanded opportunities for voting by soldiers overseas and a study group on ranked voting options, including Instant Runoff Voting.

 
[Read the Press Release ]
[Read the Editorial from Minnesota Daily]
[Read the Editorial from Pioneer Press]
[Learn More About Universal Voter Registration]



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Recent Articles
October 19th 2009
Mandatory Voting? Automatic Registration? How Un-American!
Huffington Post

President of Air America Media, Mark Green, explains why Instant Runoff Voting, Automatic Registration and Mandatory Voting are not only important but could lead to a more democratic society.

September 30th 2009
Can a 17-year-old register to vote? It depends
Ventura County Star

"Most Californians register to vote not because a political cause has touched their heart, but rather because they checked a box on a form at the Department of Motor Vehicles when they received or renewed their driverís license."

September 27th 2009
Giving teens a civic voice
The Fayetteville Observer

In January, North Carolina will become the third state to implement FairVote-endorsed youth preregistration.

September 8th 2009
Give voters final say on vacancies
Politico

The two legislators proposing a constitutional amendment mandating elections to fill Senate vacancies make their case in the pages of Politico.