Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.

Voter Services

Judie Gorenstein, judiel728@aol.com

Leagues throughout New York are extremely busy preparing and running voter registration drives, candidate
events, and hopefully working on ways to turn out the vote. To help in this very challenging year, an edited and
updated Road to the Voting Booth Part II and also Toolkit for running candidate events has been emailed to all
voter service chairs and a hard copy has been mailed to the presidents. Voter service chairs and presidents have
also received a Toolkit for voter registration drives. Much of the information that has been included comes from
questions leagues have asked or ideas they have submitted. We all learn from one another. Leagues are looking
for different venues and are encouraged to share their experiences.

When the LWV of Mid-Hudson Region was asked to engage a group of adults with intellectual disabilities,
they created and presented a voter issue educational game. They chose an easy and fun issue “should we have
dessert before dinner?” After the group laughter subsided, they discussed pros and cons of eating dessert first,
and then voted on ballots, which were then collected and counted. The “no dessert before dinner” won. Would
this have been the case if they had not discussed the pros and cons before voting? How was this similar to a real
election? In both, there is more to an issue that first appears and it is important to educate self. Although many
in this group could not read well and some not at all, it was kept simple and colorful, while talking of ways to
find out about candidates. Those who had not yet been registered to vote, registered. In the end, each
participant was given a sticker “I Voted” and encouraged to be voters each Election Day.

What is your league doing to educate and engage voters? How will your league turn out the vote? What can
you as an individual do?

Here is some information I think is important for our members to know and share:

  • The Reform Party allows voters who are not enrolled in any party to vote in the Reform Party Primary. They changed their by laws last year to allow this to happen.
  • When a student goes away to college, if they chose to register in that state rather than vote absentee in NY, they will not meet residency requirements to run for a NYS political office upon their return to our state. The requirements for running for NYS Senator or Assemblyman or Gov., LT Gov, AG,or Comptroller is being a resident of the state 5 years immediately preceding the election.

As LWV members empower voters and defend our democracy. Our democracy works best when everyone participates.

National Voter Registration Day is September 25, 2018. Make sure you register your local League as a
partner – and start planning events and registration drives for that day! Click here to register.

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