The AAUW Action Fund’s It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard voter education and turnout campaign represents an unprecedented investment in making women’s voices heard in the 2012 election. Follow us on Twitter and on Tumblr for the latest updates, and check out our biweekly Campaign Update for news, resources, and ideas.
As a recent graduate of a small, liberal arts college, I can say that the transition into the real world has definitely been, well, a transition. My biggest worry is no longer how to navigate rush-hour cafeteria lines in our one dining hall — it’s surviving rush hour on the Washington, D.C., Metro. Instead of stressing about a term paper I turned in at 12:15 a.m. for a midnight deadline, I worry that if I don’t get a work project in by a noon deadline, I’ll be back on my parents’ couch.
Now, political rhetoric, conflicting “approved-by” messages, and constant media declarations about how thisis the most important election of our lifetime bombard millennials like me from all angles just as we are learning to deal with realities like paying student loan bills and rent checks, finding careers, and grappling with who we are. Needless to say, it’s a lot to deal with in these first tentative steps off campus. Luckily, there are resources like the AAUW Action Fund’s VoteHER Toolkit that make being an informed voter easier for us all — whether we’re college students or senior citizens — and these resources are especially useful for women.
Today, the AAUW Action Fund released the VoteHER Toolkit — an essential guide to how candidates and elected officials stack up on issues that are important to women and their families this election year. Clear information on candidate positions will be critical as voters head to the polls in November. This is especially true for women, whose votes will likely decide the 2012 election. The AAUW Action Fund’s nationwide It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard campaign continues to reach out to young women to educate and mobilize them to vote on November 6. Women everywhere now have a trusted resource in the VoteHER Toolkit.
The VoteHER Toolkit includes three components: the annually released AAUW Action Fund Congressional Voting Record, voter guides comparing candidates in the presidential and key Senate races, and a summary of the Obama administration’s performance in its first term. All three resources focus on AAUW priority issues. The Congressional Voting Record breaks down, state by state, how representatives and senators voted in the 112th Congress. It helps voters understand, vote by vote, where their elected officials stand on important issues. Additionally, the voter guides clearly lay out whether opposing Senate and presidential candidates support AAUW priority issues that affect women and families. The final piece, a report on how the Obama administration performed in its first term, explains executive actions on pay equity, education, economic opportunity, and women’s health. This straightforward, easy-to-read guide to what can seem like daunting topics to even the most seasoned voters empowers us to make educated choices. I feel much more confident as I head to the polls this election because I know that the vote I’m casting is in line with my own beliefs. I’m certain the VoteHER Toolkit will have the same effect on other voters. All we have to do is take a few minutes to read over it.
With my undergraduate diploma hanging on my parents’ wall (still weird) and in the professional clothes to which I’m still getting accustomed (I still can’t walk in heels), I’m excited to go to the polls on November 6 and exercise my 19th Amendment right. And I’ll do it knowing that I’m informed. Somehow, just this small action of having my voice heard through my vote — and it truly is my voice — makes those tough questions of who I am and what I want do with my life a tiny bit clearer.
This post was written by AAUW Public Policy Intern Amanda Villarreal.