Washington sets a record with National Voter Registration Day 2018

Washington sets a record with National Voter Registration Day 2018

Since 2012, elections officials across America have made National Voter Registration Day an annual focal point of public-awareness campaigns to get more eligible citizens to register to vote.

In Washington, as in other states, the effort has concentrated largely on getting young adults to sign up as registered voters. This demographic is targeted for two key reasons:

Voting and registration by age in United States in 2016.
Percentages of voting and registration by age in United States in 2016. U.S. Census Bureau

First, the U.S. Census Bureau regularly finds that young people who are eligible to vote are registered at much lower rates than citizens in older age groups.

Second, research has found that young adults who develop the habit of voting regularly frequently become lifelong voters.

This work to increase young-voter participation took Secretary of State Kim Wyman into a series of forums, online and in person, on Sept. 25 to promote National Voter Registration Day 2018. She appeared at Highline College, Pacific Lutheran University, and Mount Tahoma High School to promote civic engagement and voter registration with student groups and classes.

Ask Me Anything pictureSec. Wyman also co-hosted a Reddit.com Ask Me Anything session with Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon to answer questions about voting and government.

All this awareness activity produced outstanding, and unprecedented, results. More voters registered  with Washington’s Myvote.wa.gov during National Voter Registration Day 2018 than in any previous year’s event — even beating the online registrations from National Voter Registration Day in the 2016 presidential election year.

Elections Division officials report that 8,616 Washingtonians registered to vote online or updated existing registrations on National Voter Registration Day 2018, topping the 8,271 registrants during the 2016 event. For the year, Washington had newly registered 289,333 voters as of the end of September, 65,590 of whom registered online.

Here’s a chart of Washington’s new voter registrations going back to 2016:

2016 2017 2018
  Total Online   Total Online   Total Online
Jan 32,712 9,370 Jan 11,438 1,340 Jan 26,134 4,574
Feb 39,224 13,760 Feb 8,036 895 Feb 20,828 3,565
Mar 75,069 37,964 Mar 20,099 2,321 Mar 27,506 4,220
Apr 34,737 8,522 Apr 8,741 853 Apr 23,679 3,652
May 33,764 7,491 May 16,134 1,956 May 27,873 3,979
Jun 41,785 5,857 Jun 23,441 2,862 Jun 31,832 5,074
Jul 45,038 10,074 Jul 3,445 700 Jul 43,680 14,016
Aug 48,533 10,698 Aug 16,374 2,778 Aug 36,232 7,559
Sep 84,593 37,598 Sep 29,018 4,257 Sep 51,569 18,951
Oct 83,658 43,896 Oct 14,797 4,027 YTD total: 289,333 65,590
Nov 28,454 7,327 Nov 7,179 1,685      
Dec 18,092 1,477 Dec 20,403 2,377      
Total: 565,659 194,034 Total: 179,105 26,051      

The deadline is Oct. 8 to register online or by mail to vote in this year’s General Election, so be sure your friends and family know about the convenience of signing up at MyVote.

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