National Voter Registration Day is Tuesday

(ABC 6 News) – Tuesday is National Voter Registration Day, a day volunteers from all over the country will spend their day registering millions of Americans to vote. 

This year, the number of Minnesotans eligible to vote has largely increased due to new laws that have been passed by lawmakers.

In February, lawmakers passed legislation that ensured felon’s voting rights when they’re released from incarceration. The new law expands voting rights to at least 55,000 people in Minnesota, according to Democratic Secretary of State Steve Simon, the state’s chief election official.

Also, a 16-or 17-year-old in Minnesota can now pre-register to vote. However, to vote, a person must be 18-years-old on or before Election Day.

“Voting is the most powerful tool we have as Americans to determine our own future,” said Sec. Simon. “As we prepare for statewide elections in 2024, I urge Minnesotans to take the time today to make sure they are registered to vote or that their voter registration is up-to-date.”

The deadline to register to vote in advance is 21 days before Election Day. Registration can be done online or by downloading an application from the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State.

RELATED: New election laws now in effect in Minnesota

Meanwhile, Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate will spend Tuesday speaking to schools in Iowa about the importance of voting and providing resources needed to get registered. 

“I’ve got to explain to them why they need to be voting. I mean, for a lot of people as you become more established in your community, as you lay in your roots. And I mean by that is, maybe you’ve got that career job now, you’re not just doing a job, you’ve got a career job, you’ve got a home, maybe you have children and they are in the school system. Those are things that put roots in a community, and voting tends to come more naturally for them,” Sec. Pate said.

This year, Pate said he is focusing specifically on getting 18- to 24-year-olds registered to vote. 

“I want to make sure these young people particularly understand that their role is very important. Now they’re doing the job interview, they’re helping the rest of the country see up close and personal these candidates without a lot of filters. This is an exceptional role. In fact, candidly, I’ll tell people if you haven’t met a candidate running for president in Iowa, you’re living in a cave, because they are everywhere,” Sec. Pate said.

According to U.S. Census data from 2020, as many as 1 in 4 eligible Americans are not registered to vote. 

For more information on how to register to vote in Iowa, CLICK HERE or visit your local county auditor’s office.