Yes, you should register to vote. In fact, today is a great day to do so, especially considering its “National Voter Registration Day”, a holiday recognized by nonprofits around the country.
At the same time though, while registering to vote is awesome (pat yourself on the back), what’s most important is that we keep the polls accessible to our communities. Voter registration is no replacement for having good, old-fashioned conversations with our friends and families about what voting and political participation means.
Let’s be clear: people of color, low-income people, young people, women and others that have been historically excluded from any notion of ‘voter registration’ (and sometimes, openly intimidated and discriminated against) in order to keep them from accessing the polling booth. And, to be honest, its only in recent decades that the idea of mass voter registration in these same communities has become a standard, acceptable practice (even though voter intimidation tactics haven’t disappeared by any means).