To say we’ve been busy this past year would be an understatement. The League’s mission – Making Democracy Work ® – means that we advocate for a democracy in which everyone has their say and every vote is counted. In 2014, this has meant tirelessly fighting both voter discrimination measures and the flood of money into our political system – growing forces that threaten our democracy into 2015 and beyond.
December 2 is #GivingTuesday and generous League supporters are matching every #GivingTuesday donation up to $10,000. Get your matched donation in early by donating now!
Throughout 2014, we pushed our leaders to pass legislation to protect equal access to the ballot box and stop the flood of discriminatory voting measures at both the federal and state levels. Thus far, Congress has stalled out on moving the Voting Rights Amendment Act (VRAA) forward, and 2014 saw voter discrimination strengthen its foothold at the ballot box. So far this year alone, state legislatures across the country introduced 2210 bills relating to voting rights – some of these bill, if passed into law, would benefit the voter but many more would make access to the polls more difficult for millions of voters. These anti-voter measures included onerous voter photo ID laws, reducing or eliminating early voting and ending same-day voter registration.
The League helped defeat more than two dozen of these anti-voter laws in the lead up to the 2014 election. But others went into effect, restricting access and suppressing turnout among thousands of voters.
Voters also faced last-minute election law changes that threatened turnout. Four states – Wisconsin, Texas, Arkansas and North Carolina – were in court into October to finalize their election laws. While only these states’ laws were still in flux just weeks before the election, massive confusion among voters across the country was rampant due to constantly changing election laws.
Luckily, the League was there for voters. The League’s online election resource, VOTE411.org, was continually updated to provide voters with accurate, up-to-date information on what they needed to vote. Nearly 1.5 million people used VOTE411.org this election cycle to find accurate information on voting rules, polling place locations, candidate positions and more.
At the same time, we continued to help lead the charge against money in politics –a dangerous flood of money that threatens to dilute our democracy and drown out voters. Outside groups spent $689 million in the 2014 midterm elections, almost 20 percent of all spending this election cycle. A mere 42 donors accounted for nearly one-third of all donations to Super PACs, independent political committees that are allowed to spend unlimited sums of money to overtly advocate for or against political candidates. As a result, big money is winning, and voters are losing. And the League won’t let voters go down without a fight.
We accomplished a lot this year, but we have even more to do in 2015; we won’t stop as long as our democracy is threatened. In 2015 and beyond, we will continue our work to push for reforms to get money out of politics and to ensure that every voter has equal access to the ballot box. We ask that you think of the League as you reflect on the need to strengthen our great democracy through increased political participation. Support the League on #GivingTuesday and your gift will be matched, doubling its impact!
League supporters across the country will continue to do everything in their power to see that we’re Making Democracy Work®, but the fight requires the help of all of our supporters.
#GivingTuesday is propelled by those who believe that passion and commitment can make a difference. League supporters will match every #GivingTuesday donation up to $10,000. Support the League on December 2!