With the goal of boosting civic participation and exercising Constitutional rights, grassroots groups throughout the country spent Tuesday meeting face-to-face with eligible people — and the public in general — to elevate awareness about “National Voter Registration Day.”
Their nonpartisan efforts were aimed at signing up new voters, especially women, young people and residents in rural areas. Promise Arizona in Action, the Georgia Rural Urban Summit, 9to5 Atlanta, Georgia STAND-UP and groups in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas were among the participants.
“We believe America is stronger when everyone can add his or her voice to our democracy,” Michael Seifert, a community activist in south Texas, said in a statement.
In Hidalgo and Cameron counties – both in the Rio Grande Valley – there were dozens of volunteers trained in voter registration efforts who were on hand to help community members, he said.
In Atlanta, groups had scheduled a press conference at the state Capitol to address electoral participation and changes since the Supreme Court ruled this summer on the Voting Rights Act. Under the ruling, states that have a history of voting discrimination no longer have to submit their election plans to the federal government for approval.
“Poll after poll has clearly shown that the millennial generation has strong views on a number of policy issues that differ from their elders,” Wes Sanders, a field organizer for Georgia Equality, said in a statement.
“If my generation is to have our views respected, we must have access to the ballot.”
Georgia Equality works on fairness and safety for that state’s LGBT communities.
Deborah Scott, the executive director of Georgia STAND-UP, explained that looking at voting in the South over the past 50 years was needed on this day.
“It is important that we continue to fight to ensure that marginalized communities are not disenfranchised,” she said in a statement.
Georgia STAND-UP is a grassroots group dedicated to strengthening neighborhoods.
In the Southwest, about 15 volunteers with Promise Arizona in Action gathered at Arizona State University in Tempe to encourage eligible people to sign up.
“Promise Arizona in Action is an organization dedicated to empowering Arizona Latinos and immigrants,” Tony Navarrete, an organizer with the group, said in a statement.
“A good example: Immigration has been an important topic this year because people made their voices heard on the issue loud and clear during the last election.”