Another election season has come to an end and I want to give a huge round of applause to all of you – voters, League Leaders, poll workers, poll watchers! Many of you worked tirelessly registering voters at thousands of registration events, providing millions of voters with the information they needed through printed materials, online resources, hosting candidate debates and forums, encouraging your friends and family to vote, and engaging your community in other ways.
Voters, like you, around the country recognized the importance of this election. And on Election Day you took control and waited in long lines to have your votes recorded and to have a say on the issues that are most important to you. And with narrow margins in many races, we see just how valuable our one vote can be.
The determination of voters came despite antics in Florida and Ohio to shorten voting hours, incorrect signage at Pennsylvania polling sites suggesting photo ID was required, poor election preparation causing long lines, and an onslaught of subversive robocalls intent on misdirecting voters.
These hurdles have no place in America’s great democracy. The League of Women Voters has fought back against these cynical attempts to disenfranchise voters and manipulate elections. And on Tuesday after a long education campaign, we celebrated a significant win in Minnesota – for the first time – voters themselves spoke loud and clear stating that photo voter ID has no place in America’s great democracy. We have been a leading force at the state and national levels in this fight for years and we won’t let up now!
We worked to protect voting rights all across the nation. We knocked down several restrictive voter photo ID laws; went to court to block voter photo ID laws passed by four states; overturned Arizona’s proof-of-citizenship law; and defeated attempts by some anti-democratic lawmakers in Florida to obstruct voter registration drives and early voting. We also registered tens of thousands of new voters in all 50 states and increased our efforts to expand the electorate and engage new voters through our work at naturalization ceremonies, community colleges, and our groundbreaking high school voter registration project. In addition, the League served more than 2 million voters this year alone through VOTE411.org, providing voters with the answers to the questions they ask most often.
We must build on these wins; we have so much more to do to get our democracy back on track and back in the hands of the people. Free, fair and accessible elections are the cornerstone of our democracy, and we will continue to fight for these principles in the coming months and years.
Thank you again for being active participants in our government and helping to make democracy work.