There are only a few weeks left to register to vote in this November election, and to commemorate the democratic process and remind people of their civic responsibility, National Voter Registration Day was created.
Events were hosted around the Valley, including one at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University’s Downtown Phoenix campus.
The event featured speakers of various backgrounds, political affiliations, and identities, all with one topic in common — their belief that everyone needs to exercise their right to vote.
This year’s midterm is a crucial election for many issues across the nation, with matters such as abortion access, immigration policy, and climate concern at the forefront of many voters’ minds. With such big policies being influenced by those in government, voting has become even more important this year.
Despite the strong opinions on these matters, many eligible citizens are either not registered to vote or are not actively exercising their right to do so. In the 2020 presidential election, one of monumental turnout, 20% of registered Arizonans didn’t vote. In midterms and general elections, that number was even higher.
This year’s Primary Election in Arizona had a historically-high 35% turnout. Despite these relatively high numbers, however, that still leaves 65% of votes that weren’t cast and therefore 65% of voices unheard in the Primaries.
Juanita Chavez, daughter of civil rights activist Dolores Huerta and niece of labor rights leader Cesar Chavez, delivered a rousing speech highlighting the importance of citizens using their voices to represent themselves in government, and to urge others to do the same.
“My mother often says that election day is the most important day in our lives,” Chavez remarked in the opening of her speech. “It is so critical and incumbent upon us, to meet with our communities and meet with those who are nonvoters, and convince them that their voice matters and that their votes are important.”
Chavez went on to state that women have a responsibility to ensure that the democratic responsibility is being exercised. “Especially as women, our voices matter, and we have special persuasive powers,” she said. “We’re often the keepers and creators of culture in our families and communities, and we can serve as the conscience of our families and communities as well.”
Even a small action on the part of an individual can have a large impact on our nation as a whole, Chavez said. She challenged those in attendance to each reach out to five people, and help them register to vote in the November 8 Election.
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, showed her face at the voter registration event, speaking on the importance of voting at every opportunity, not just in presidential elections.
Despite Hobbs’ candidacy in the upcoming election, the event remained nonpartisan in its variety of speakers. As the state’s current Secretary of State, part of Hobbs’s duty is to ensure equal access to voting for all Arizonians.
Hobbs relayed the importance of making sure citizens assure their voter registration information is up to date as well as keeping others informed of their civic responsibility. She provided sources for constituents to find verified registration information, such as the website arizona.vote.
If someone is unregistered, or if they’re unsure of their registration status, they can call the office of the Arizona Secretary of State, or check the website azsos.gov to be sure to make their voice heard by voting on November 8.