As part of the LWVUS team that is going out this summer to train Leagues through the, Membership and Leadership Development program, which is designed to help strengthen the League as we power the vote, I am so inspired by the League leaders we're meeting who are passionate about protecting the right to vote and active in mobilizing citizens to take back the helm of our democracy.

Whether it's in Iowa, Texas, Minnesota where they are leading a fight against Voter ID or in Florida where they are now back registering voters - racing to overcome the voter registration deficit left behind when they had to stop this fundamental right of passage into our election system or face potential devastating fines - these League leaders are heroes to me.   

There are days when I still find it hard to believe that such a fundamental American value as the right for every eligible citizen to cast a vote is something that anyone would want to stand in the way of. That's just downright un-American to this woman who as a little girl just thought everyone voted - because that's what Americans do! 

I see how the public is hungering for factual information and how the League is such a good source of that kind of information for voters. I see how tired people are of the lack of civility and lack of courage of many policy makers to put the people's interests over their own partisan battles. A man who saw our League sign stopped into the room where we were training in Florida recently and ranted about the state of politics and how he couldn't believe that a trusted organization like the League might come under fire because we were simply providing factual information and mobilizing the public to participate in our elections. I see how the League is a shining beacon of hope for people like him.

I'm proud that in these trainings and through our work as a whole in the League, we are building the organizational muscle not only to do the good work of the League (our voter registration, candidate debates or forums and voter information such as Vote411), but to develop the skills and strategies to effectively engage our communities fully and to be more visible in the good community service we do for our democracy.

I'm glad we are recruiting more volunteers and members to join us in this work - because our country needs an army of citizens right now to help steer our democracy back onto course. What better way to do that than through the trusted League of Women Voters!  

And finally, I am thankful and proud to be in the company of some of the finest people one could meet - who give so fully of their volunteer time to ensure our right to vote!