2017 is the biggest year for elections since...2016

By Mike Ward, with Ada Vargas contributing

Nearly half of the people in our country have an election in their area on November 7, 2017. That’s a good bit more than one might expect for a year without a full slate of federal elections. With National Voter Registration Day (September 26) one week away, we thought it might be worthwhile to illuminate how big 2017 actually is in terms of elections.

If you live in the United States and are eligible to vote, chances are you have (or had) the opportunity to cast a ballot this year. The Democracy Works research team, led by Ada Vargas, uncovered over 2,500 races between January 1 and September 1, 2017. Many of them were municipal-level, but more than a few statewide and federal races slipped into the calendar while the country was otherwise occupied by the news juggernaut that is 2017. 

Looking forward to November 7, there are eight states with statewide elections (NJ, VA, NY, ME, OH, PA, TX, VA, and WA), two states with municipal elections that are nearly universal across the state (CT and UT), and at least three states with elections scattered around the state (CA, KS, and MN). 

If you live in any of these states and aren’t yet registered, register now! If you live in one of these states and are already registered, sign up for TurboVote’s election reminders so that you get all of the information you need to help clear any process barriers to voting. And if you don’t live in one of those states, sign up for reminders anyway. Chances are, you’ll miss a future election without them. 

“What are election reminders?” you might be wondering. Before every single election that Democracy Works’s research team uncovers, TurboVote sends an email/text message series to every user eligible to vote in that election. The text messages in particular, which would be impossible without our collaboration with Twilio, add a personal element to voter engagement that seems desperately lacking in our democracy today. We also have a help desk staff on hand to answer any questions. In 2016 alone, we responded to over 18,000 help desk requests. 

We live in a time of information overload. If you consider yourself a voter, you need reminders to make sure that you live up to the identity you stake out for yourself. Celebrate National Voter Registration Day this year by signing up for reminders and make sure you never miss an election again. 

Brandon Naylor