AAUW Staff to Remind Young Women to Vote on Election Day
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON – AAUW is following up its yearlong investment in a nationwide, nonpartisan voter education and turnout campaign with an all-staff commitment on Election Day. The entire AAUW staff of almost 100 people will spend November 6 making get-out-the-vote reminder calls to young women.
“AAUW members are fired up about getting young women to vote in the 2012 election, and that enthusiasm will keep us working until there’s literally nothing more to be done — when the polls close,” said Executive Director Linda D. Hallman, CAE. “Taking an entire day of staff time to join our membership in getting out the women’s vote is a significant investment of our resources, but it’s critical when we consider what’s at stake for women in this election. It’s time for all hands on deck.”
The AAUW Action Fund’s It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard campaign — led by our nationwide network of more than 1,000 branches and 700 college/university partners — has registered, educated, engaged, and mobilized young women across the country. The campaign worked to get young women to vote as well as to provide nonpartisan information about candidates’ positions on the issues that matter most to women and families (see the AAUW Action Fund VoteHER Toolkit).
Community-based programming has included voter registration drives, candidate debates, issue forums, and debate watch parties — all aimed at educating and mobilizing voters. AAUW members have also worked to help voters understand their rights on Election Day, especially in light of new voting requirements in many states.
According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, regular voting is habit-forming, but young people have yet to firmly develop the habit. The youth vote dropped off significantly from 2008 to 2010. However, AAUW believes enthusiasm among millennial voters is on the rise.
“Our philosophy is simple: When candidates understand the power of the gender gap, our voices are heard,” said Lisa Maatz, AAUW director of public policy and government relations. “It’s clear that both parties’ campaigns are making a full-court press for women voters, and that has impacted the debate at every level. Such bipartisan attention elevates our issues all around — women don’t win when one party ignores us and the other takes us for granted. We don’t tell women how to vote; we just want them to get to the polls and speak their minds.”