Working in the Elections Division of the Secretary of State’s office, one of the most disheartening concerns I hear from the public is not being able to vote because they were not registered or did not have their information updated.

According to the National Voter Registration Day organization, 6 million Americans didn’t vote because they missed a registration deadline or didn’t know how to register in 2008. This is even more important in states with early deadlines for voter registration. In Nevada the deadline to submit an application by mail is Oct. 4th (postmarked) and Oct. 14th when submitting an online or in person at your county election office.

In 1997 the Legislature established the Nevada Advisory Committee on Participatory Democracy (ACPD) to report back to the Legislature on several issues including the participation of citizens in the development of public policy and improvement of the operation of government. Working closely the ACPD, the Nevada Secretary of State’s office developed resources to improve voter registration and turnout. The Business and Community Took Kit is a document that was developed to provide essential tools for business and organization to easily spread the message about why and how to register to vote. The Kit contains templates and ideas for businesses and organizations to communicate important information to employees/clients, as well as conduct a company voter registration drive.

I encourage individuals and business leaders to share voter registration information with their employees and clients so they can be better informed and involved voters. Several online resources are available to make registering and updating voter registration quick and easy and allows an eligible individual to complete or update their registration in minutes.

Helpful links:

Important Registration Dates:

  • Oct. 4th, 2014: Deadline to register to vote by mail (postmarked)
  • Oct. 14th, 2014: Deadline to register to vote online at or in person at your county election office
  • Oct. 28th, 2014: Deadline to submit an application for an Absent Ballot (must be received by your county election office)
  • Nov. 4th, 2014: Election Day

Justus Wendlandis a member of the Reno-Tahoe Young Professionals Network and works for the Nevada Secretary of State’s office. Before moving to Nevada in 2012, Justus worked in the same capacity in the Montana Secretary of State’s office to ensure state election and voting requirements are compliant with Federal requirements pursuant to the Help America Vote Act (the federal law formed to, among other things, ensure there are no more hanging, swinging… ballot chads).