AWS Public Sector Blog

How AWS supports the 10th anniversary of National Voter Registration Day with digital tools for civic engagement

On September 20, 2022, Americans celebrate National Voter Registration Day with a massive cross-country effort to register voters ahead of the federal midterm elections. Founded in 2012, National Voter Registration Day is an annual civic holiday on which the nation focuses on registering Americans to exercise their most basic right – the right to vote.

National Voter Registration Day is driven by the collective efforts of thousands of volunteers, nonprofit organizations, businesses, schools, libraries, and election officials from all over the country to reach citizens who haven’t yet registered to vote, or need to update their registration due to a recent move, name change, naturalization, or other reason. This year marks the 10th anniversary of National Voter Registration Day; since its first year, nearly 4.5 million Americans have registered to vote on the holiday.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a proud sponsor of National Voter Registration Day to help drive civic engagement. AWS supports important resources for US citizens to register to vote; plus, government technology companies (GovTechs) use AWS to expand voting resources to Americans across the country. Read on to learn more about how organizations use AWS to make it simple to register to vote.

Supporting government voting registration and resource platforms through high demand

Register to vote or check your registration today with TurboVote, Democracy Works’ flagship tool for voter registration. For over a decade, voters have relied on Democracy Works to help them make their voice heard in U.S. elections. Since 2012, over 12 million voters have signed up for TurboVote, through partnerships with more than 300 institutions of higher education, nonprofit organizations, and companies. In 2021, Democracy Works continued to make an impact and sent 23.3 million personalized election notifications through TurboVote, answered over 23,000 individual voter inquiries through their Help Desk, and gave 6.5 million voters the ability to track their mail ballots through Ballot Scout. Democracy Works has also made several improvements to TurboVote that enabled them to better serve voters, elections administrators, and partners, including localized custom notifications, more tools for digital engagement in real time, and accessibility improvements.

TurboVote uses AWS services like Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and Amazon DynamoDB, which support TurboVote in scaling on demand. This makes it possible for TurboVote to handle tens of thousands of concurrent users on its busiest days leading up to general elections without having to pay for dedicated infrastructure year round.

Educating and inspiring voters to get ready for the midterm elections

Since the 2020 election, over half of the states in the US have changed election laws. From registration deadlines to absentee rules to I.D. requirements, every state has different voting rules and regulations. It can be challenging for citizens to stay up-to-date on the rules in their jurisdiction while also researching contests and candidates during elections season. National Voter Registration Day seeks to bring awareness to resources that can help.

Voterly, from Vidaloop, is a modern-day voter app powered by AWS that answers questions constituents might have leading up to Election Day, like: Am I still registered?, When is the election?, What offices are open for reelection?, and What are the candidates’ platform issues? While most voter resource sites can answer one or two of these questions, Voterly answers them all. The site features multiple user tools like a registration lookup and monitoring tool, politician profiles, and state voter guides. Voterly recently launched a new feature—issues scores—with which users can see where thousands of politicians stand on up to 30 political issues. Voterly explains each issue and sides of the argument, then collects data from relevant interest groups to calculate a score that communicates where a politician stands on various aspects of an issue.

Vidaloop, an AWS GovTechStart member, uses Amazon DynamoDB to support Voterly’s storage of over two million records of data, including 200,000 people in politics. The site is also supported by Amazon CloudFront for fast content delivery service, and AWS Lambda and AWS Elastic Beanstalk to increase page load speed and handle an influx of users during peak periods leading up to an election.

Connecting voters where they are using digital tools for civic engagement

Since 2019, Voterly has partnered with HeadCount, a non-partisan organization that uses the power of music to register voters and promote participation in democracy. HeadCount aims to reach young people and music fans where they already are – at concerts and online – to inform and empower. Voterly provides HeadCount with embeddable resources for their site that allow HeadCount’s users to research politicians using Voterly’s My Reps and Smart Ballot tools.

HeadCount also leverages, the largest nonprofit, nonpartisan voting registration and get-out-the-vote (GOTV) technology platform in America, powered by AWS. uses AWS to help strengthen the platform’s security and scalability with the AWS Well Architected Framework, and expanded its use of AWS services to include Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon CloudWatch, Amazon GuardDuty, Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS), AWS Lambda, AWS CloudFormation, AWS CloudTrail, and AWS Shield. Touring artists of all kinds work with HeadCount to bring voting resources to their fans; a few examples are Ariana Grande, Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, Beyoncé and Jay Z, Leon Bridges, Trixie Mattel, and Princess Nokia. Since 2004 HeadCount has supported the registration of over one million voters.

Register to vote this National Voter Registration Day

Celebrate #National Voter Registration Day on September 20, 2022 and encourage those around you to be #VoteReady. Register to vote now at TurboVote.

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Tonya Rice

Tonya Rice

Tonya Rice has served as a leader in the elections and public sector technology industries for over 15 years. At Amazon Web Services (AWS), Tonya advises state and local governments on how to address their most complex challenges by securely modernizing systems that drive electoral, legislative, and political processes. Prior to AWS, Tonya served as director of elections and chief data officer for Cook County, Illinois, one of the largest US election jurisdictions, where her responsibilities included leadership across a diverse security and technology group. Collectively, her teams of 100+ specialists led strategy, development, and operations of innovative new solutions and public-private partnership models. As a subject matter expert, Tonya has authored multiple cybersecurity whitepapers and delivered keynotes at national election conferences. She has also served on the Bipartisan Policy Center’s national task force of election officials to develop industry best practices. Tonya earned a J.D. degree from Northwestern University School of Law, a B.A. degree from Northwestern University, and serves on the Board of Advisors for Auburn University’s Graduate Program in Election Administration. She also chairs the Board of Directors at Chicago HOPES for Kids, a nonprofit organization that provides educational services for children living in homeless shelters.