What does Siri, your mother, and Robert Downey Jr. all have in common? Besides the fact that all of these things generally rock, they have also been taking the time to remind you to get out there and vote. Yet despite this herculean effort by what appears to be the entire planet, there are still problems with low voter turnout in the United States.
In order to learn more about the problems with voter turnout and how to fix them, Bustle held a Facebook live panel with New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray, EMILY's List Vice President of Communications Marcy Stech, and Barnard College professor Premilla Nadasen to talk more about the importance of getting millennial women out to the polls.
There can be a number of obstacles that registered voters face when it comes to casting their ballots, depending on where they live and what their work schedules are like, as well as their familial responsibilities. "For women especially, it can be really difficult to try and find that time to go and vote on a Tuesday," says Stech. In Philadelphia, Stech even met a young woman who wanted to vote, but worked from 9:00 am to 9:30 pm. With the current public transportation schedule, however, she could only arrive at the polls at 7:30 am, leaving her with only five minutes to vote before running to catch her bus to work.
"I always wondered why election day isn't a national holiday," says Nadasen. The efforts to add stricter voter ID laws in certain states and the lack of same day voter registration in many states all add to the mess of red tape that could prevent a vote from being cast. Moreover, it leaves many wondering what could be done in order to alleviate the chaos and congestion at some polling stations and make registered voters more likely to show up at them.
"I think that there's a lot we can do in terms of education, in terms of teaching people about how the political process works," continues Nadasen. The New York City First Lady herself confirms, "Once you get out there and do it, it becomes a habit ... the vote is the most powerful tool anyone has."
Be sure to put that powerful tool of yours to use on Election Day, and get out there and vote.
Image: Bustle/Lauren Betesh