Social media platforms put muscle into National Voter Registration Day

Election officials, advocacy groups, and social media platforms mobilized Tuesday to get out the vote on National Voter Registration Day, urging U.S. residents to be proactive about casting their ballot as voter registration numbers dip due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Major social media groups including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram engaged users to register to vote, while celebrities and election officials participated in virtual events to spread awareness of the issue.

“National Voter Registration Day is a great way to check your registration, the only better day was every day before that, you cannot check your registration too many times or too soon,” David Becker, executive director of the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR), told The Hill.

Efforts to register voters have taken on new urgency given the pandemic, as registration rates have nosedived compared to 2016 with people staying at home.

According to an analysis of voter registration rates in 21 states released by New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice this week, registration numbers in 17 of the states examined are an average of 38 percent lower than they were in 2016.

The Brennan Center’s findings were similar to those published by CEIR, which saw a major dip in voter registration numbers post-March.

“In all of the states we saw at least a 50 percent reduction in new voter registrations comparing April 2020 and April 2016, and in states like California and Texas, the reductions were even more drastic,” Becker said.

“Overall the new voter registration activity is in significant decline, at least through July,” Becker added.