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.
It’s not every day that Rosie the Riveter and Garth Algar from Wayne’s World get to hang out, but on the night of Trick or Vote, it’s the kind of thing you just expect. On Halloween, I had the opportunity to work alongside a team of energized volunteers at my local university as we reached out to an underrepresented cross-section of the voting population: college students.
As you probably know already, the AAUW Action Fund has led the high-energy, high-return, nonpartisan It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard campaign to mobilize women voters, especially women of the millennial generation (ages 18–31). This year, the AAUW Action Fund partnered with Trick or Vote to combine civic engagement and democracy in a fun way for young voters.
I had the chance to partner with some downright fabulous volunteers, and together we reached out to 982 students on the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, campus. We were just one of many organizations working in 41 states to offer young voters a Halloween mix of costumes and community service. We handed out voter location information, It’s My Vote swag — buttons, temporary tattoos, and door hangers — pens, and bracelets, all to remind millennials about when and where to vote. A big shout out to Rachel Fleming of United Council for partnering with us on the event.
Brady Klein, an honors student and lead volunteer, said, “Voting isn’t scary — in fact, it’s a lot of fun. Trick or Vote saw amazing interest here in Eau Claire from young voters. We can tell from the energy that 2012 is going to be huge. With the costumes, candy, and voter outreach, we had a lot of fun. At the same time, we helped answer common voting questions about polling locations and encouraged citizens to vote in this election.”
True enough, we had a great time, but some of the feedback we got from the young voters we canvassed was that they still were not sure where to vote, let alone what day to vote. So guess what that means? Even though so many of us have worked endless hours and organized many outreach events, the work is not done!
Won’t you join me to give it your all, even if that’s just one more hour of your time invested in the lives of young women voters? Between now and Election Day, I’ll be leading three AAUW phone banking events, and there will be more AAUW events in my state. Contact your local AAUW branch leader to let her know that you’re on board to make a difference in young women’s lives in these last days before the election.
On behalf of my youngish, 32-year-old self and my daughter, who is in the second grade, thank you! Your investment in our lives will make a difference. One day, my daughter will read about Lilly Ledbetter in her history book, and I will be able to tell her that thanks to good policy decisions and devoted women’s groups like AAUW, women’s equity is more of a reality.
I’m excited to work with you for this last get-out-the-vote weekend!
This post was written by Catherine Emmanuelle, AAUW Eau Claire (WI) Branch member, It’s My Vote Wisconsin organizer, and appointed city council member.