The latest on what we’re doing and what we’re paying attention to.
Voter Participation Center Continues Multi-Year Effort
to Register Under-Represented Americans
7.2 Million Registration Forms Mailed So Far In 2017 – 2018 Cycle
The Voter Participation Center, a nonpartisan and nonprofit voting rights organization, is mailing 2.2 million registration applications in twenty states to members of the Rising American Electorate – unmarried women, people of color, and young people – so that this critical voting bloc can reach its full power in November.
“More than 46 million people of color, unmarried women and millennials aren’t registered to vote, which means they aren’t able to have their voices heard in our democracy. The Rising American Electorate is 59.2% of the voting eligible population, so the electorate should be reflective of their strength in the population,” said Page Gardner, founder and President of the Voter Participation Center. “The Voter Participation Center makes it possible for the voices of eligible African Americans, Latinos, unmarried women, and young voters to be heard at the voting booth in November.”
The Rising American Electorate is the majority of the voting eligible population (VEP) – 59.2 percent – yet the RAE is only 54.7 percent of those registered nationally. It’s critical to register more members of the RAE so the electorate is reflective of the population. Right now, 35.0 percent of the RAE is unregistered. Specifically:
- Unmarried women make up 26.1 percent of the national VEP but are 25.0 percent of the total registered voters. 35.0 percent of unmarried women are not yet registered to vote.
- Latinos make up 11.9 percent of the national VEP but are 9.7 percent of the total registered voters. 42.7 percent of Latinos are not yet registered to vote.
- African Americans make up 12.9 percent of the national VEP and are 12.7 percent of the total registered voters. 30.6 percent of African Americans are not yet registered to vote.
- Millennials make up 29.1 percent of the national VEP but are 25.1 percent of the total registered voters. 39.3 percent of millennials are not yet registered to vote.
For the RAE to achieve its full representational power and create an electorate that reflects the population and shares its values, more unmarried women, people of color, and young people need to be registered to vote. That is why VPC is starting early to register more members of the RAE.
This year’s elections are crucial, with votes for Governorships, the U.S. Senate, seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, and State Legislatures across the country. According to a recent analysis by VPC, 40 million Americans who voted in 2016 likely won’t cast a ballot in the 2018 midterms – with two-thirds of those drop-off voters being millennials, people of color and unmarried women.
VPC is launching its largest, most comprehensive program in its history for the 2017-2018 election cycle, beginning with its largest registration and mobilization program in an off-year election. In 2017, VPC mailed nearly two million pieces of mail to almost one million voters across the country.
Since 2003, VPC has registered close to four million people – including nearly one million new applicants in 2016 and 188,000 new applicants since September 2017. By mailing voter registration applications to prospective voters, VPC helps eligible people fill in, sign the applications, and mail them straight to election registrars’ offices in pre-addressed envelopes to be certified by government officials. In states where online voter registration is available, VPC also provides these prospective voters with their Secretary of State’s website.
VPC uses the best cutting-edge technology available to make sure that mail recipients are both eligible to vote and unregistered at their current address. This year, VPC has launched a comprehensive 18-point program to continue to refine the mailing list processes. 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, www.voterparticipation.org.