The latest on what we’re doing and what we’re paying attention to.
Voter Participation Center Mails 12 Million Registration Forms to Americans, in Biggest Voter Registration Drive Ever in a Non-Presidential Year
7.4 Million Registration Forms Mailed in September Alone, to Prospective Voters in 28 State
WASHINGTON, DC – The Voter Participation Center this month is mailing more than 7.4 million registration forms to prospective voters in 28 states. In the biggest voter-registration drive in its history in a non-presidential year, the Voter Participation Center (VPC) has now mailed more than 12 million voter-application forms since the start of the year. In partnership with key national and state-based allies, VPC is providing eligible Americans a fast and easy way to participate in our democracy.
“We are hopeful that our latest mailing will bring the total number of Rising American Electorate citizens who have submitted registration applications to over 600,000—the most people VPC and our partners have ever helped register in a mid-term election,” said Page Gardner, President and CEO of the non-profit and non-partisan Voter Participation Center. “That’s 600,000 unmarried women, people of color and young Americans who have a chance to vote thanks to the collaboration of our partners.”
September’s mailing follows a 1-million-piece mailing in January and a 3.7-million-piece mailing in June, and aims to increase participation in a year when members of the Rising American Electorate traditionally have stayed home in higher rates. VPC coined the term Rising American Electorate (RAE) to describe the powerful and growing voting group that includes unmarried women, people of color and young people aged 18-29. Research conducted by VPC makes clear that, unless candidates start speaking to the RAE about issues that matter most to them, the RAE drop-off rate could be substantial in 2014–with as many as 21.8 million voters staying away from the polls as compared to 2012.
The RAE is a political force, 115-million members strong and growing fast, which now comprises the majority of the voting-eligible population in America (53.5%). But RAE members move more frequently than many other Americans and still do not vote in proportion to their share of the electorate. In 2012, this new democratic majority represented just 48 percent of the electorate. RAE members are incredibly mobile, with 42% moving over the last four years, typically meaning that they need to register to vote again when they move to a new jurisdiction.
Nearly 27 percent of eligible African Americans, 41 percent of eligible Hispanic Americans, 42 percent of young people (18-29) and 31 percent of unmarried women are not registered to vote, according to 2012 Census data.
VPC’s mail-program partners include the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, the National Council of La Raza and Mi Familia Vota. Together the non-partisan groups have sent voter-registration applications to prospective voters across the country. Eligible individuals can fill in, sign the applications and mail them straight to election registrars’ offices in pre-addressed envelopes to be certified by government officials.
VPC takes its mailing-list process seriously, using the best technology available to ensure that mail recipients are both eligible to vote and unregistered at their current address. This year, VPC has launched a comprehensive 15-point program to continue to refine its mailing list processes. Any mail recipients who happen to receive a registration form in error can easily remove their name from VPC’s database by calling VPC or by clicking on its website, vpc.wpengine.com.
The VPC, which runs the largest mail-based voter registration operation in the nation, has helped more than 2 million Americans join the voting pool since VPC’s founding a decade ago.