Today is National Voter Registration Day, and inside “The War Room” we are all over it. Now is the time to empower voters and get registered to vote before the October deadlines. So what’s it going to take between now and then to get people informed and registered so they’re armed with everything they need in order to cast their ballots on November 6? This year, it’s requiring a lot of work.
Last night Jennifer Granholm talked with Jeanette Senecal, senior director of elections for the League of Women Voters, to discuss the challenges the LWV faces when setting out to register people. At one point the group had to stop registering voters in Florida because of a strict law — which was eventually overturned.
The law required the groups to turn in voter registration forms within 48 hours after applicants completed them. … Groups missing the deadline faced fines of $1,000 a day. Two weeks ago, a federal judge issued an injunction preventing the state from enforcing the law. But because the law was in place for about a year, its impact was stark, especially among Democrats.
So how have these restrictive state policies impacted the work that the League of Women Voters does? Senecal says she spends a lot of time fighting for voters rights instead of actively registering voters. “Instead of getting out there and actively helping voters learn about the candidates and the issues before them, we’re in courts. We’re redirecting our resources … so that voters rights are protected instead of actively getting out there and helping them.”
Senecal and the LWV aren’t the only group out there hoping to overcome barriers and get people registered. Tonight’s guest. Jeff Tweedy, lead singer of Wilco, is encouraging young people to get involved in the political process and register. While on tour this fall, Tweedy and his band are partnering with HeadCount, a nonpartisan group that seeks to promote participation in the democratic process. Rock the Vote does the same thing.
And it doesn’t stop there. We’ll be talking with the NAACP’s Benjamin Jealous, who is determined to see a big voter turnout in November. The organization’s mission is to see the kind of turnout they saw among young black voters in 2008 and empower youth to get involved in the democratic process.
From NAACP Connect:
Youth and young adults turned out to the polls in record numbers — in fact, there was a 17 percent increase in young black voters. Raise your voice and register to vote today.
Tune in to Current TV tonight at 10E/7P and help us celebrate National Voter Registration Day by getting you, your family and your friends ready for Election Day. For a little incentive, check out this new Facebook feature that allows users to announce that they’ve registered to vote on their profile page.