why do you need to register to vote

If you're like most registered American voters, you probably mailed a paper form to your local election office to make sure you were all set. Maybe that was five years ago because you've been at the same address for a while. Or it maybe it was last week if you only learned of your state's deadline a little while ago. But never mind when it happened, because it shouldn't have to be this way. Voter registration should be automatic. "The question you have to ask," says Whitney Quesenbery, co-director of the Center for Civic Design, "is why do we make citizens jump through hoops to become voters? "
While several US states to make voter registration automatic, only Oregon has put laws into place. Even some countries have taken the wisdom of automatic registration to heart, including Sweden and France, in their most recent election were 82. 6% and 71. 2% respectively. America's? Just 53. 6%. In Quesenbery's view, states already have access to so much of citizens' identifying information that local governments should be able to make registration the default. That's how it works in Sweden. The Swedish Tax Administration is in charge of updating people's names, addresses, and marital statuses, and municipalities supply the details. Before an election, and send proofs of registration to people in each district letting them know where and when to vote. Oregon has a similar set-up, which Quesenbery says could set a good example for the rest of the automatic voter registration policies. In Oregon, as long as you've had a "qualifying interaction," which the state defines as one that supplies your basic identification info, such as a trip to the DMV, you're registered. A few weeks after that interaction, you get a postcard that reminds you of the registration.

You have three choices at that point. You can either do nothing and stay registered; you can specify which party you belong to; or you can ask to opt out for any reason. It's simple and uses existing technology that every state government has access to, Quesenbery says. The challenge in getting automatic registration everywhere is that it also requires a culture shift. "That takes some time," she says. "And as much as I want to see it all happen tomorrow, I think there's some value to each state being able to work through the issues and move there on their own. " The fact more than half the states already are embracing something that's brand-new reveals how good of an idea it is, Quesenbery adds. "I think it's going to move very fast," she says, "because as a government leader how do you stand up and say, 'I want to do something that makes it harder for people to register to vote'? " Each local authority is responsible for compiling and publishing a list of voters in its area. This is called the Register of Electors or the Electoral Register. Anyone can inspect this Register and it is available in all offices, post offices, Garda stations and. You can use to check to see if you are on the Electoral Register. The published Register of Electors contains the voter's name, address, polling station and category of voter. If you wish to be included in the Register of Electors you must complete application form RFA and return it to your local authority. When the Register is being compiled, the application form is available to download at. You can also get the form from the local authority. A new draft Register is compiled each year. It is published on 1 November and comes into force on 15 February of the following year.

To be eligible to be included in the Register of Electors, you must: Have been ordinarily resident in the State on 1 September in the year preceding the coming into force of the Register. Students living away from home while attending college have the choice of being registered at either their home address or their student residential address. You must be registered at one address only and you must live at that address on 1 September before the register comes into force. If you live away from the address at which you are registered, you will need to contact the registration authority and give them your new address. If you leave your address but you plan to return there within 18 months, you can continue to be registered there, as long you do not register at any other address. If you need to add your name or change your entry in the draft Register, you can do this up to 25 November each year. You must fill in form RFA1 for the draft Register and send it to your. This form is available to download at that time at. You can also get it from any post office, public library or local authority. If you are applying because you have moved to a new address, you should include this information and your former address so that you can be removed from the register for that area. The amended Register of Electors is published on 1 February each year and comes into force on 15 February. If your name is not on the Register of Electors in February, you can. You can apply at any time. However, you can only be included in the supplement used at an election or referendum if your local authority receives your application at least 15 days before polling day. Sundays, public holidays and Good Friday are not counted as days for this purpose.

For the, the local authority must receive your application by Tuesday 8 May. You are eligible for inclusion in the supplement to the Register of Electors on or after the day on which you reach 18 years of age. You can be included if this birthday falls after the closing date for applications but is on or before polling day. If you are in this situation, it is advisable to enclose a copy of your or similar document with your application. If you have changed address, you. This will also remove you from the register for your previous address. There are detailed guidance notes on this form. Local authorities publish 2 versions of the Register of Electors: the full register and the edited register. The Full Register lists everyone who is entitled to vote. Once a Full Register has been published, it can only be used for an electoral or other statutory purpose. The Edited Register contains the names and addresses of those voters who have indicated that their details can be used for other purposes (for example, for direct marketing use by a commercial company or other organisation). If you do not want your details to be included in the Edited Register, you should tick the 'out' option box on the registration form. If you want your details to be included in the Edited Register, that is, you are happy that commercial companies and other organisations will contact you with direct marketing, you should tick the 'in' option box. If these boxes are both left blank your details will not appear on the Edited Register. Under of the, it is an offence for an organisation or commercial body to contact someone from the full electoral register for direct marketing purposes. Find out more about.

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