LOS ANGELES, CA / ACCESSWIRE / September 25, 2020 / Every four years, millions of Americans cannot cast their vote because they didn't know how to register to vote, didn't update their registration after they moved, or missed a registration deadline. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has only made these challenges more difficult, with stay-at-home orders and other social distancing efforts dramatically reducing the number of in-person voter registration drives that normally occur each election season. To address this challenge, more must be done to reach every eligible potential voter.
"Every eligible American should be encouraged to register and vote, so they have the opportunity to take part in our upcoming elections and participate in our representative democracy," said Dr. Cynthia Telles, Community Health Committee chair for the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals boards of directors. "Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of our democracy, but people who aren't registered can't exercise their basic right to take part."
Kaiser Permanente, the nation's leading health care provider and not-for-profit healthcare system, is partnering with National Voter Registration Day to promote civic engagement, participation in elections, and improving the community health of the organization's more than 12.4 million members and 217,000 employees and physicians. As a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, Kaiser Permanente supports voter registration because it is a constructive civic activity that improves the health of communities and strengthens our democracy.
"We know that health and representation are strongly linked, because vibrant civic engagement improves community health," said Dr. Cynthia Telles. "Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to improving the health of the communities it serves, and this is an important strategy in that effort."
In addition to raising awareness about voter registration, Kaiser Permanente is also promoting voter safety information to help keep all people healthy, to encourage voters to avoid lines and crowds whenever possible, and to exercise COVID-19 precautions if they choose to vote in person.
National Voter Registration Day efforts have helped register nearly 3 million voters and include coordinated efforts to raise awareness of state-specific registration policies, deadlines, and voting information.
First observed in 2012, National Voter Registration Day was established to help Americans exercise their most basic right: the right to vote. Celebrated on the fourth Tuesday of September, National Voter Registration Day will take place this year on September 22. The observance is endorsed by the National Association of Secretaries of State, the National Association of State Election Directors, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the National Association of Election Officials, and businesses and nonprofit organizations across the country.
"By our estimates, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a loss of 2 million new voter registrations per month as DMVs shutter and in-person efforts are put on hold," said Lauren Kunis, program director of National Voter Registration Day. "We can't let that stand in the way of enabling as many people who wish to exercise their civic right to vote this fall. We are grateful to have Kaiser Permanente join us in our effort to get every eligible citizen registered and ready to vote on this year's National Voter Registration Day on September 22."
To learn how to register in your state, visit the National Voter Registration Day website.
For more information, reach out to Andrew Mitchell at Cambridge Global at 404-955-7133.
SOURCE: Dr. Cynthia Telles
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