Voting is a right of U.S. citizens as well as a responsibility

Register or update your registration and request vote by mail ballots if you think that will make it more likely that you vote.

As an immigration attorney, I have spent decades helping people obtain U.S permanent residence which can lead to citizenship after five years (or three if married to a U.S. Citizen.) At the oath ceremonies, new, very proud U.S. citizens are provided information on voter registration.

I hope that my clients who worked so hard to earn the right to vote exercise that right by fulfilling this responsibility. Those who earned the right to vote by simply being born in the U.S. do not always appreciate their birthright.  Recent voter turnout statistics show an estimated 60% turnout rate in national elections and about 40% turnout in midterm elections. Yet midterm elections are important in selecting representatives and senators who can either support the President or serve as a check and balance on the President. Midterm elections are also important in selecting many other local and state positions.  

There have been many recent attacks on our rights to vote. Voter suppression, voter intimidation and gerrymandering are commonplace.  There are many organizations working to overcome these attacks on our right to vote. If you wish more information you might check out the League of Women Voters (  which was formed from the movement that secured the right to vote for women and remains committed to expanding voter registration and participation. As a NYU law school alumnus, I am especially proud of the work done by The Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU law school ( Their work ranges from voting rights to campaign finance reform and racial justice among other important issues. Voto Latino ( is a nonpartisan organization that seeks to bring new and diverse voices to the mix by empowering Latino Millennials. Rock the Vote ( also seeks to drive the youth vote to the polls. And I could not go on without mentioning the work of the Parkland Students, many of whom have just embarked on a summer bus tour to register young people to vote.

Whether you choose to get involved in a voter rights organization or not, there is no excuse for not being informed and no excuse for not voting.  The registration requirements vary by state. Some states allow voter registration the day of the election and some states vote entirely by mail. I have included the information for Florida below.

Voter Registration in Florida can be done online –

The deadline for registering to vote in Florida is 29 days before the election. The Primary Election is August 28 and the General elections are November 6th.  Please be sure to register or update your registration by July 30th for the primary.

Vote by Mail Ballots can be requested if you will be out of town or find it otherwise inconvenient to vote in person. The vote by mail ballots are sent by July 14 for military members and July 24th for other voters so you will need to get the vote by mail request to your elections office well before these dates – why not do this now?

I urge you to exercise your right to vote and to fulfill your responsibility to vote.

Please forward this email to remind your friends and associates that voting is important to our democracy.

Linda M Kaplan
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