As the nation mourned Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death last Friday, a surge of women and young people registered to vote over the weekend, according to voting groups.
More than 62 percent of voters who registered were female, according to a spokesman for the nonpartisan platform Vote.org.
By age group, young adults between 25 to 34 made up the largest bloc of new registrations with close to 31 percent, the nonprofit voting group said. Meanwhile, nearly 25 percent of the voter registrations came from the 18-to-24 age group.
"The number of young people and women registering and making a plan to vote through Vote.org is a positive sign for increased turnout this fall. In 2016, 100 million Americans sat out the election, and too many of them were young people. Their participation matters," said Andrea Hailey, the CEO of Vote.org.
Ginsburg was a fierce champion of women's rights who also fought for the rights of minorities. The formidable justice, a mother of two, was a revered idol for young women. She died at 87 years old at her home in Washington, D.C.
Throughout the solemn weekend, voter registration as a whole also surged.
Vote.org processed more than 40,000 new voter registrations on Saturday and Sunday, a 68 percent increase from the previous weekend. The nonprofit's website also saw over 35,000 mail ballot requests over the weekend, a 42 percent increase from the prior week.
The nonprofit had more than 139,000 registration verifications, an 118 percent increase from the weekend before.
The voting group noted that although not every state requires registrants to signify their party, of those who did, 1.82 times as many Democrats registered as Republicans.
During National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, Vote.org set a record with the most traffic for that day ever, according to a spokesman. Its site had double the number of users, from 304,000 in 2018 to 730,000 on Tuesday.
The organization doubled the number of registrations on the day devoted to them from 62,000 in 2018 to 135,000 this year. Voter registration verifications also doubled, to 473,000 compared to 268,000 in 2018.
"Following Justice Ginsburg's passing, the significant uptick in interactions with Vote.org's registration and mail ballot resources, culminating in strong numbers on National Voter Registration Day, speaks to an energy among Americans who want to make sure their voices are heard this election," Hailey said.
Carolyn DeWitt, president of Rock the Vote, another voting registration nonprofit, tweeted how hopeful she is after seeing the number of voters who registered on the national registration day.
"Today is giving me hope," she tweeted. "We're running 10x our 2016 NVRD front-end server amount to accommodate the increased traffic to register to vote."
Also since Saturday, When We All Vote, a nonprofit that Michelle Obama co-chairs, has seen over 82,000 voters starting or completing the process of voter registration, said communications director Crystal Carson.
On National Voter Registration Day alone, the nonprofit saw more than 44,000 voters start or complete their registration, while over 300,000 people visited the resources on When We All Vote's website in preparation for voting.
Over 1 million viewers also engaged in the When We All Vote Instagram Live event "VOTE LOUD," which featured the former first lady.
Obama underscored the importance of focusing get-out-the-vote efforts on young and new voters.
"We've got to do a better job of speaking directly to the motivations and unique challenges that young and first-time voters face around voting," Obama said in a When We All Vote press release. "That's a big part of the reason why I created When We All Vote—to spark important conversations, share critical resources, and make sure people get registered and get out to vote. It's up to all of us to encourage and work with the next generation to really change the culture around voting."
Vote.org's Hailey noted: "By making voting easier, and, in turn, getting more people to vote, we create a stronger, more representative democracy."
In the 1970s, Ginsburg was a key figure in the women's rights movement. She argued six key cases before the court and won five of them.
"Ruth Bader Ginsburg does not need a seat on the Supreme Court to earn her place in the American history books," President Bill Clinton said when he nominated her to be only the second woman on the court. "She has already done that."
Published with permission from The American Independent Foundation