Voting is the most important way a citizen contributes to democracy, so we should strengthen Alabama by doing everything we can to improve voter participation.
Considering Alabama’s dismal rate of voter registration, low turnout of those who are registered, and the fact that the winner only gets a little more than half the votes in any given race, the truth is that only about 10% of our state’s population will actually decide who our state’s next leaders will be.
We’re doing what we can to get out the vote on November 6th, but for elections in years to follow we need more forward looking ways to improve citizen participation.
I support efforts to increase voter participation through two important initiatives: automatic voter registration and early voting.
By implementing automatic registration for citizens when they turn eighteen, we assure that young adults hit the ground running in meeting their civic responsibility to participate in elections. This would give every eligible individual the registered voter status his or her citizenship should earn automatically.
We must also join the majority of states and implement early voting. The idea of a single twelve hour period in which we vote for the state’s most important offices is outdated and counterproductive. We can debate whether it should be a period of one week or one month leading up to Election Day – the average is around 20 days – but what’s not debatable is that early voting is proven to increase voter turnout.