Voter registration happens year-round, but the months leading up to a presidential election are crucial as interest in politics spikes and funding for registration efforts flows in.
Millions of new Americans will become eligible by turning 18 as Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2012), the most diverse in history, is expected to surpass the silent generation (born between 1928 and 1945) as a share of the electorate.
Millions more Americans have moved and need to re-register at a different address, while others have been purged from the rolls for not voting in recent elections, including in key battleground states such as Wisconsin and Georgia.
But now, all the traditional ways of signing up voters are out the window, prompting concerns that a large swath of Americans will miss their chance to participate in this year’s elections.
“Registration is going to be an issue for everyone,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who along with Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, is pushing for emergency voting reforms to respond to the coronavirus crisis.
Ashee Groce, a student and Democratic activist at Spelman College in Atlanta, isn’t sure if she’ll be able to participate in Georgia’s primary election in May or whether she’ll have to register to vote somewhere else. She already missed the primary in her home state of California, which was held March 3.
“Now that I’m not in school, and I don’t have a place to stay in Atlanta, I am bouncing from different states to different states,” she said. “I’m uneasy not knowing how I’m going to vote.”
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