Why I Became a Deputy Voter Registrar. You Should, Too.

Become a deputy voter registrar in Illinois

In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election it became evident that voter behavior represented the single most important factor in determining the outcome. Not just how many people voted mattered. After all, the majority did NOT vote for Trump. What mattered was who voted and where those who voted lived. Hair’s breaths of percentage points decided electoral votes for entire states. Every vote made a difference. Every person who was qualified to vote but did not vote made a difference as well.

It’s Imperfect But You Can Make the Difference

Yes, the Electoral College process needs a review. Yes, there is widespread gerrymandering of electoral jurisdictions. Yes, there are significant efforts to target and disenfranchise whole swaths of the population. Yes, these and other issues need to be fixed. Yet there is one thing that can be done by each person right now that does not require studies, commissions, hearings or rallies. We can make the effort to register to vote (and then vote).

Easy for Some. Not for Others

While Illinois encourages and provides relatively simple self-enfranchisement, for the truly intransigent non-voter the human touch may provide that extra incentive to become registered. That human touch is the deputy voter registrar. Illinois Election Code provides for deputy registrars who work with the County Clerk’s office to make voter registration to all qualified residents.

How To Become a Deputy Voter Registrar

To become a deputy voter registrar I attended a 1-hour fast-paced orientation conducted by an employee of the County Clerk’s office. The information flew by but we were provided with a short booklet that covered all the material. We were administered an oath and provided a start-up set of registration materials. It boils down to this: Are you able to ask a few questions? Can you fill out a ½ page form? If the answer is yes, you should become a deputy voter registrar.

Small Gotcha. Simple Solution

Prospective deputy voter registrars must first be “designated” by any of a long list of people and organizations. But let’s make it simple. If you look at the calendar on this website and/or search on this site for “voter registrar” you will find both the path and the dates for becoming designated and then getting trained. Really, there is nothing to it. Just do it.

By Sonny Cohen