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When I first heard this week is National Volunteer Week I immediately thought of all the fantastic volunteers I work with on a daily basis. All year long, I work with League volunteers around the country, supporting their efforts to reach and help inform voters through our national voter information site, VOTE411.org. These Leagues work tirelessly creating online candidate guides and hosting candidate debates and forums, all to further the League’s mission to educate and promote civic engagement in their communities.
So far this year, volunteers from 24 states have committed to create candidate guides on VOTE411.org, reaching out to thousands of candidates and asking questions on the issues important to their community. Volunteers are also organizing and hosting hundreds of candidate debates and forums in their neighborhoods, bringing the candidates and the community together to create a more informed electorate. Our experience from recent years tell us that we can expect hundreds of thousands of voters to find the information they need (registration information, polling place finder, candidate guides, local debates and forums, etc.) on VOTE411.org in 2014.
To help reach the voters who need help navigating the election process, League volunteers are thinking of creative ways to spread the word about VOTE411. In 2012 the Kalamazoo (MI) League created a billboard advertising VOTE411.org, and the Portland (OR), Larimer County (CO) and Richmond (VA) Leagues all created bus ads promoting the website and their voter education work. Leagues from all over are creating posters, bookmarks, bumper stickers and business cards promoting VOTE411.org and handing them out at public events and local community centers. Both the candidate guides and debates are advertised on social media, in local newspapers, through radio ads and some debates are even televised on local TV stations.
Because of these volunteers, I know millions of voters will have the information they need to be informed voters this year. And it is because of these volunteers that I am happy to come to the office every day and see the amazing work being done around the country. So this National Volunteer Week, I celebrate all these League volunteers and their amazing voter education work on VOTE411.org!