TO: Editorial and Opinion Writers
FR: Elisabeth MacNamara, President of the League of Women Voters of the U.S.
DA: September 16, 2014
RE: National Voter Registration Day - September 23, 2014
I am writing to urge you to devote space in your papers to remind voters about the importance of registering to vote and civic participation. Tuesday, September 23rd is National Voter Registration Day (NVRD), a nationwide, nonpartisan effort to register thousands of voters on one single day. As a partner in this effort, the League of Women Voters is calling on the media to help us raise public awareness among the nation’s voters.
The message is straightforward: While this is not a presidential election year, millions of Americans are voting in important elections this November which will decide who fills one-third of the seats in the U.S. Senate; will elect the entire U.S. House of Representatives; and will determine many gubernatorial races. Nationwide, thousands of races and ballot initiatives will be decided this year. This election is about economic and national security, the environment, health care and the welfare of our communities.
National Voter Registration Day is the perfect time to register for the first time, update your voter registration if you have moved, or ask your friends and family to make sure they’re registered.
Voter registration is the key to getting Americans participating in the political process. While close to 75 percent of Americans who are registered to vote make it to the polls in major election years, close to one in four eligible Americans is not registered to vote. This includes disproportionate numbers of young Americans, minorities, low-income Americans, and those who have recently moved. These are also the very groups most at risk of being affected by last-minute rule changes and restrictions put upon the right to vote, such as the cuts to early voting and strict photo voter ID requirements under consideration in many states.
Imagine what our elections and country might look like if every single eligible American was registered to vote and voted.
That is why we're committed to making every National Voter Registration Day a success. On September 23rd, League volunteers around the country will join forces with celebrities, businesses, activists, local officials, social service providers, and a whole host of others in an unprecedented effort to help Americans get registered to vote. All in all, more than 2,000 partners, including close to 400 League of Women Voters volunteer teams from 48 states are participating in NVRD events. In 2012 and 2013, this single coordinated day of voter registration resulted in more than 350,000 new voters registered nationwide.
Help us spread the word about the looming voter registration deadlines and the importance of voting and having a say in our democracy. Point your readers to the League’s VOTE411.org, the nation's leading online election resource providing millions of voters with the information they need on absentee and early voting options, registration deadlines, ID requirements, soon-to-come information about every candidate running for state house office or higher in every single state, and other important updates regarding any changes voters should expect to see at the polls. You are also encouraged to contact your local League of Women Voters to find out what election and voter engagement activities are taking place in your community.
Help us inform the nation’s electorate about the importance of registration and voting and reinforcing that National Voter Registration Day is a holiday worth celebrating for years to come.
Writers interested in discussing National Voter Registration Day or recent election law changes and speaking with National League President Elisabeth MacNamara, should contact Kelly Ceballos in the League’s press office at 202-263-1331 or email@example.com.