WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — For National Voter Registration Day, the nonpartisan group Vote America is making a push to improve the country’s longstanding reputation of having poor voter turnout.
The non-profit texted more than three million unregistered voters across the U.S. Tuesday, encouraging them to register and participate in the November elections. The group’s Chief Executive Officer and Founder Debra Cleaver said the flood of messages will make an impact.
“It works specifically because we’re never asking people for anything,” said Cleaver. “We’re not asking them for their votes, we’re not asking them for their money, we’re just providing information to them.”
Vote America provides things like voter registration options and vote-by-mail information for those temporarily living overseas. Cleaver said because voting can be a challenge for many people, it is crucial for everyone to know their options for casting a ballot.
“85% of Americans are already registered to vote,” she said. “The reason turnout is so low in this country is [because] it’s harder to cast a ballot in the United States.”
The U.S. is behind most developed democratic countries in regards to voter turnout. In 2016, less than 60% of eligible voters actually voted. Cleaver said the idea of a single vote not making a difference is a myth; each vote actually matters more than it would if all eligible Americans voted.
“No matter where you live there is a competitive race on your ballot this year. It may be a state wide race, it may be a national race, it may be a local race.”