Auto-registering to vote


Courtesy of Mia Klassa

Seniors Mia Klassa and Natalie Points pose with their “I Registered to Vote Today” sticker after being registered in their government classes.

Sean Stuck, Entertainment Editor

Since the ratification of the 26th amendment in 1971, the voting age has been set at 18. With this right, it is up to the person to be responsible enough to register in time for each election. However, I do not think this should be necessary because many people have valid identification that already has the necessary information to register to vote.

One of the reasons that America has been able to maintain power for years is based on the founding principle of voting.

Though voting is a right and part of our civic duties as Americans, roughly 60% of Americans voted in 2016 reported by the Census Bureau. If 2016 was not a presidential election year the percent of voters would be lower by over 10%.

So why aren’t voters coming out?

There are many reasons why one might not come out on an election day to cast their vote, such as disillusionment, indifference, or a sense of futility. But there is also another reason as to why voters may not be voting, that being, they have yet to become registered..

According to a 2012 study, 24% of Americans are not even registered to vote. Having those people register to vote would substantially increase the number of potential voters. 

After the 2012 statistics,there was a cry for auto registration in America.

Heather K. Gerken voiced her opinion by writing an article in 2013 about auto registration, saying that the DMV already has people who are applying for a new license, and or changing addresses asking if the person would like to register to vote. 

The DMV is just one place that already has the information needed to register to vote. Other places such as the state universities, Department of Veterans Affairs, and local Social Security offices all also withhold this information

I know that I would not be registered to vote if people from the Fairfax County Office of Elections hadn’t come in during our government class to register us to vote. There are many other people in this school alone that did not have that particular opportunity and are contributing to that 24% of unregistered voters in America. 

With the divide growing in our country people don’t have the right to complain if they aren’t voting to try and fix the problem. Voting is the avenue given to us to create an impact in our government.