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Tuesday was the second annual National Voter Registration Day. Across the country 800 organizations came together sponsoring registration events. The League came out in force with 300+ events aimed at the one in four eligible Americans who are not registered to vote–likely making us once again the single largest on-the-ground participant in this day. The New York City League partnered with city government and various groups representing a range of age and ethnic populations to sponsor an impressive event at Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan.
The lunch crowd in the park on a picture perfect fall day was treated to music and speakers and volunteers with information on registration and the issues coming up in the city elections this fall. Television star America Ferrera, representing Voto Latino, spoke about her experience of being asked in school about her citizenship. Her mother, hearing about the challenge, reassured her that she was an American and to never forget what that means and how important it is to always exercise that most important right of citizenship: voting.
Voters go to the polls every year to stand up for what matters to them. This year, New Yorkers will not only elect a new mayor, but will also decide numerous ballot issues. They are not alone. In 2013, millions of voters will decide the outcome of over 5,000 local and state races and ballot initiatives. If the New York City mayoral primary is any example, these key races and issues will be decided by a dismally small number of voters. But we can do something about that and National Voter Registration Day was a reminder that registration deadlines are approaching. My sincere thanks to all the League volunteers who took part in this important day for our country and for our organization.
Now is the time to remind our communities that every election is important; and every chance that Americans have to vote, is a chance to make a difference.