Registering to vote – why isn’t it easier?
Written by Melanie Ollett
October 20, 2012
I was recently out in Colorado helping some friends move. They had been renting a house while they were waiting to close on the one they were buying. By the time I arrived they had been in their new house 6 days. There were many boxes to be unpacked, there was much furniture to be picked out, and there many children to keep entertained (they have 5.)
It was exhausting, but overwhelmingly good. They had moved out to Colorado from Upstate New York, so I had not seen them in some time. Knowing that they are so far away now is tough, but airlines run great deals and now I have a new part of the country to explore!
Naturally, in the midst of choosing couches and tables, I asked if they changed their voter registration. Given that much of my work is advocating for voter registration and researching state’s laws, it popped to my mind. I was struck, however, with how difficult it would be for a family in the process of moving to register! There are so many things to remember and so many tasks to complete.
Why don’t all post offices make it easier, and staple a voter registration form to your change in address form? Why can’t the DMV have copies of forms for when you go to change your insurance, registration, or driver’s license? Why don’t we have PSAs with Beyoncé or Tom Cruise reminding people not only to register to vote for the first time, but to re-register every time an address changes?
Registering to vote should be as easy as possible. There are enough things to worry about for individuals and families in the process of moving. Especially in such tough economic times as these when people are much more likely to move homes, we should remember that voter registration is not a one-time deal.