It's Midterm Election Season - Register & Request Your Ballot Today!

Welcome to the 2014 midterm election season! The primaries are underway! Are you registered? Will you cast your vote? Did you know that midterms can be as crucial as presidential elections and that both are considered “general elections”?

A great many Americans who answered ‘yes’ to the first question have all too often answered ‘maybe’ to the second question. The third and fourth will depend a lot on whether a civics class was in your school curriculum. Historically, it has taken the sheer perceived importance of a presidential race (as the most powerful person in the world) to drive voters to the polls.

Far too many Americans downplay the impact of midterm elections. The ability to shape Congress influences legislation as well as the president’s ability to enact the administration’s vision and programs. In this era of heightened partisanship in Congress, it is of vital importance that Americans voice their opinions at the polls. And we don’t mean voting by omission. Midterm elections are the times when we can voice our approval or displeasure directly to our Congressional representatives.

Congress takes the reins on budgeting and legislation. Voting once every four years exercises a mere fraction of our civic right: midterms matter!

While the turnout among registered voters is trending upward, the percentage of eligible voting-age Americans actually casting a ballot has remained static over the past 60 years. FairVote, The Center for Voting and Democracy offers several explanations for the less-than-desirable voter turnout rates in the United States. Among them are electoral competitiveness, election type, and demographics. In addition, FairVote points out that voter registration laws, voter identification laws, early voting, and polling place accessibility can also affect voter turnout. As we have seen, some states have expanded voting accessibility, while others have seized upon the Shelby County v. Holder decision to restrict voting access.

According to The Pew Charitable Trusts, the voter turnout rate for both presidential and midterm elections steadily increased over the 20-year period between 1990 and 2010. In the 2010 midterm election, 66.1% of registered voters cast their ballots, compared to 61.8% in 2006 and 63.5% in 2002. By comparison, only 55.6% of registered voters cast a ballot in the 1990 midterm elections.

These trends are encouraging, and we ask you to be part of the movement to increase midterm participation – this year – 2014. Register and Request Your Ballot Now!