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, on Facebook, and on Tumblr for the latest updates, and check out our weekly Campaign Update for news, resources, and ideas.
This Election Day, AAUW staff members have some important phone calls to make. Our yearlong, nonpartisan investment in getting young women to vote won’t stop until the polls close. Our entire staff — almost 100 people — will spend the day calling young women to remind them to vote. We won’t tell them how to vote — we just want them to vote.
Taking an entire day of staff time to make phone calls to potential voters may seem unusual for a busy organization, but those of us who have spent a year working on our nationwide It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard voter education and mobilization campaign wouldn’t have it any other way. We’ll sleep better — or sleep, period — knowing we did everything we could to remind people to vote!
With that in mind, we’ll also take turns on Election Day staffing a table outside of the AAUW national office at 1111 Sixteenth St. NW in Washington, D.C., with candy to reward those who walk by with “I Voted Today” stickers. No sticker? We’ll remind you to vote! And, yes, you can come back for candy.
However, our Election Day activities won’t be limited to reminding others to vote. We’ll also take time to vote ourselves if we haven’t already! Some AAUW staff members have mailed in absentee ballots or taken advantage of early voting. If you haven’t voted yet, make sure you’re ready to go — use our VoteHER Toolkit to educate yourself on how candidates and elected officials stack up on women’s issues. We want you to be prepared to vote — so prepared, in fact, that we’d even like to see the shoes you plan to wear.
Reminding young women to vote is so important because studies have shown that voting is habit-forming but that young people have yet to make it a habit. We’d love it if everyone could find time over the weekend to encourage that habit in young women ages 18–31. Just call them and ask three simple questions:
- Will you pledge to vote this year?
- What is your plan for getting to the polls?
- Will you call three young women and ask them the same questions?
This post was written by AAUW Political Media Coordinator Elizabeth Owens.