Adam FogelAdam Fogel is the Right to Vote Director at FairVote-The Center for Voting and Democracy. He is developing a voting curriculum for high schools to encourage students to get involved in the political process and register to vote. Before joining FairVote, Adam served as the Pennsylvania Field Director for a voter registration project funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts that registered over 500,000 new, young voters. He recruited and trained over 100 student leaders on more than 15 community college campuses throughout Pennsylvania before the 2006 mid-term elections. Simultaneously, he gathered data to create a voter registration model that can be used at any of the more than 1,100 U.S. community colleges nationwide, which enroll 11 million students—46 percent of all undergraduates. Adam was a fellow at the Center for Political Participation at Allegheny College for two years, where he designed an educational outreach program in high schools called “Why Bother? The Importance of Voting in America.” In 2005, The Institute of Politics at Harvard University adapted “Why Bother?” into a national program. A Cleveland, Ohio native, Adam earned a B.A. in Political Science and English from Allegheny College in May, 2006. He is currently enrolled in a master’s degree program at the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University. He resides in Washington, D.C.
Adam Fogel: Hi, I am Adam Fogel, the Right to Vote Director at FairVote, a national non-partisan, non-profit organization based in Washington DC.
Today, I am showing you how to register and vote in US elections. Now, I will show you how to fill out a national voter registration form which you can find at the election assistant commissions website under the Voter Information Center link on their homepage. Their website is www.eac.gov.
First, be sure to check the top two boxes. It asks if you are a US citizen, and will be 18 on or before the next election. If you answer no to either of these questions, dont fill out the rest of the form. It means you are not eligible to register to vote for federal elections.
Next, write your name and the address for your registering to vote. If you get your mail at a different address, write that address in box three. If you are filling out the form because you have moved, you need to change your address, write your new address in box B. If you have changed your name, and need to reregister to vote, write your new name in box one, and your former name in box A.
Next, fill in your date of birth. When writing your phone number in box five, its optional, but its a good idea in case the election office needs to contact you for any reason. For box six, where you write your ID number, this changes from state to state. Most states allow you to write your drivers license number or the last four digits of your social security number. Other states make you write your entire social security number. Check your states voting instructions before completing box six.
In box seven, you can join a political party. Choose from democratic, republican, libertarian, green, just name of few. If you are not sure which party you want to join, you can write no affiliation or independent. You can always change your party affiliation later using the same form, but keep in mind if you don't choose a party, in most states, you wont be able to vote in party primary elections.
Finally, remember to sign the bottom of the form, and write today's date, in box number nine. The elections office can't process your form without your signature.
Now, all you have to do is stick the form in an envelope with proper postage, and mail it to your local Board of Elections. That's how you fill out the national voter registration application.
Next, we are going to talk about voting with absentee ballots in elections, where to find one and where to send it in.