|(added July 2004)
|(added Aug. 2004)
Some of these are openly partisan. For example, the Republican National Committee has its Reggie the Registration rig touring the country. On the Democratic side, ReDefeat Bush is a PAC that aims to "bring together Democrats to register voters by phone and mail in key battleground states." The drivingvotes.org website proclaims that "registering voters in swing states is the single most effective way to defeat Bush."
The sites shown above are ostensibly nonpartisan. One can see that many of these efforts target specific groups: youth, women, members of minority groups, low income people, and the faith community. Some, such as Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (founded in 1974) and Project Vote (founded in 1982), are longstanding entities; others have formed this cycle (including New Voters Project, Women's Voice. Women Vote, 1000 flowers, VoterVirgin, and Americans of Faith). Some groups have foundation backing and considerable staffs; others are volunteer efforts spearheaded by individuals seeking to make a difference and maybe even have a bit of fun.
In the latter category, a group of friends started 1000 flowers in early 2004. Talking about trying to get more people involved, they tossed around various ideas such as doing street theater or renting a bus. The idea for 1000 flowers was born over dinner at Lafcadio Cortesi and JoAnne Welsch's house, and Martha Belcher, Francesca Vietor and Deborah Moore and were deemed project directors. 1000 flowers signifies their hopes of inspiring other people to take action. Their thinking crystallized around beauty salons after Christina Desser, co-director of Women's Voices. Women Vote, related some of her group's research findings. Sixteen million single women are unregistered, the largest group among the unregistered, and 22 million single women did not vote in 2000. In addition to Moore, Vietor, and Belcher there is a core group of about 20 people and a more extended volunteer network that together comprises 1000 flowers. In April they held a party and raised a few thousand dollars. By September they plan to have "beauty kits" containing registration information and nail files with encouraging slogans in eight states. They are having fun--and learning for example that establishing a 501(c)(3) brings limits on what one can and can't do and that different states have different registration requirements.
1. FEC: The National Mail Voter Registration Form.
Voting Assistance Program, Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Serves members of the Uniformed Services and U.S. citizens who reside overseas.
of Women Voters.
"...our nation's premier grassroots citizen organization." LWVUS President: Kay J. Maxwell.
New Voters Project.
"The project will combine non-partisan voter registration, list building, and grassroots Get-Out-the-Vote (GOTV) strategies in 6 selected states; CO, IA, OR, WI, NM, NV. These states have a population of 2 million 18-24 year olds who are eligible to vote for the 2004 election... In those states, the project will register more than 260,000 18 to 24 year olds and contact between 500,000 and 750,000 of them in the final weeks before the election... The New Voters Project is possible with the support of The Pew Charitable Trusts. The George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management and the State PIRGs are organizing the project..."
"...a national nonpartisan coalition of diverse organizations dedicated to engaging youth between the ages of 18-30 in the political process. The Youth Vote Coalition has over 100 national members who represent young people across the country." Executive Director: Veronica De La Garza.
NASS's New Millenium Young Voters Project.
"The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) established the New Millennium Young Voters Project in 1998 to try and re-engage more young people in the democratic process."
The Campaign for Young Voters.
A non-partisan, nonprofit effort funded by a grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Campaign for Young Voters started in the 2000 cycle and is now a part of the New Voters Project coalition. "The Campaign for Young Voters (CYV) takes a different approach to engaging young voters.By working to raise interest from and encourage action by candidates and political organizations, it provides an essential complement to the many organizations that work directly with young adults to encourage voting and civic participation."
"The mission of the non-partisan, non-profit Youth e-Vote, Inc. 501(c)(3), founded by Mike McCurry and Doug Bailey, is to turn today’s students into tomorrow’s voters – by empowering them to see what a difference their participation can make... The Freedom’s Answer program was planned in 2002 as a way American high school students could be part of the response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on their country. High Schools were encouraged to sign up for a web-based school-wide program that caused students (most too young to vote) each to seek ten voting pledges from their parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors."
National Student/Parent Mock Election.
"The National Student/Parent Mock Election makes students and parents aware of the power of their ballot by actively involving them in a full-fledged campaign and national election. In the last two presidential election years alone, over 10 million students, parents and teachers participated in all 50 states, Washington, DC, and 14 countries/territories around the world where Americans are based. The National Student/Parent Mock Election is a non-profit, non-partisan organization." Mock Election Day is October 28, 2004.
Kids Voting USA.
"The Kids Voting USA program combines innovative classroom activities with an authentic voting experience to enable students to
practice all the skills necessary for taking part in our representative democracy... The Kids Voting USA program is delivered to communities across the country through an affiliate network." President and CEO: Christopher E. Heller.
Rock the Vote.
"Rock the Vote is a non-profit, non-partisan organization, founded in 1990 in response to a wave of attacks on freedom of speech and artistic expression... Rock the Vote engages youth in the political process by incorporating the entertainment community and youth culture into its activities. From actors to musicians, comedians to athletes, Rock the Vote harnesses cutting-edge trends and pop culture to make political participation cool."
"Declare Yourself is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan campaign that will energize a new movement of young voters to participate in the 2004 presidential election. Through empowerment, entertainment, information and technology, Declare Yourself will challenge all Americans between the ages of 18 and 29, especially first-time voters, to find his or her reason to register and to vote... Declare Yourself is a one-year voter campaign and the culmination of a threeyear project, the Declaration of Independence (DOI) Road Trip, a 50-city crosscountry tour of the Declaration of Independence and a multimedia exhibit on the contemporary relevance of our nation’s birth certificate. Founded by Norman Lear, The DOI Road Trip and Declare Yourself are made possible by The Home Depot, Presenting Sponsor and AXA Financial, Inc., Proud Sponsor."
Smackdown Your Vote!
"WWE's Smackdown Your Vote! is an 'apartisan' campaign to encourage young people to become active participants in their democracy and vote. Working with several non-partisan partners and the major political parties, WWE and its Superstars have the sole focus of encouraging more young people to register and vote, and to have more candidates for political office address the credible issues of Americans under 30."
"Women's Voices. Women Vote is a project to determine how to increase the share of unmarried women in the electorate and develop a set of messages to motivate their participation. Historically, this group of citizens has been ignored by traditional voter registration and GOTV efforts. Yet, these women are deeply affected by the federal and state policies created by elected officials - it is in their interest to vote. This project is designed to change the culture of unmarried women when it comes to voting - to get them to associate the act of voting to the social frame within which they want to be seen." A program of the Creative Concepts Project, The Tides Center. Project Co-Directors: Page S. Gardner and Christina Desser.
"1000 flowers is a group of ordinary citizens who have come together to get more from our democracy. We're launching a non-partisan 'Nail the Election' campaign to encourage unregistered women to register to vote and to make their voices heard in November's elections and beyond... We're producing 'Beauty Kits' -- with counter displays, voter registration materials, and nail files with fun, encouraging slogans -- for distribution to nail and beauty salons across the country." Deborah Moore, Francesca Vietor, Martha Belcher.
"VoterVirgin is dedicated to creating a culture of fun to inspire first-time voter participation. By providing an exciting, economical marketing tool and giving people a reason to smile, we hope to assist those organizations already working to register voters -- and hopefully help new registration drives to bloom." Founder: Teresa Van Deusen of Austin, TX.
"The Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) 2004 is a national coalition of non-partisan nonprofit organizations that encourages civic participation and promotes a better understanding of public policy and the electoral process among the Asian and Pacific Islander American community. Our objective is to effectively engage the APIA community in the political process by coordinating outreach and educational activities and programs."
Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Inc..
"A 501(c) 3, nonprofit, nonpartisan, membership organization, the National Coalition is dedicated to increasing African American participation in civil society. The current programs of the organization include Operation Big Vote!, Black Youth Vote!, Black Women's Roundtable, Voices of the Electorate and the Information Resource Center. Through these program initiatives, the National Coalition has trained and engaged African American leaders and community activists in overcoming institutional barriers that have hindered the growth of Black communities politically, socially and economically." Executive Director/CEO: Melanie L. Campbell. Chair: Richard G. Womack, Sr..
Voter Registration Education Project.
"SVREP is committed to educate Latino communities across the Southwest about the democratic process, the importance of voter registration, and voter participation. At its core is its mission to politically empower Latinos by increasing civic engagement in the American electoral system. This can only be attained through the strengthening and exercising of the fundamental right to vote. Thus, SVREP's motto: 'Su Voto Es Su Voz' (Your Vote is Your Voice)."
Mi Familia Vota!
"...a nonpartisan campaign aimed at registering 50,000 Florida Hispanics to vote before the 2004 elections." The effort is focused in South Florida and Central Florida's Hispanic communities where an estimated 323,000 eligible, unregistered Hispanics live. Mi Familia Vota! is a partnership between Center for Immigrant Democracy and People for the American Way Foundation. Florida Director is Jorge Mursuli
NCAI's Native Vote 2004.
"The Native Vote 2004 Campaign is an extensive national non-partisan effort to mobilize the American Indian and Alaska Native vote in collaboration with regional organizations, local tribal governments, centers serving the Indian populations of urban centers, and non-governmental organizations whose focus is on democracy initiatives."
"Project Vote is a 501 (c) (3) non-partisan, nonprofit organization. Since 1982, Project Vote registered and turned out to vote over 3 million low income and minority citizens nationwide, won a dozen lawsuits to protect their right to vote, trained hundreds of low income, minority organizers, and provided our registrants with non-partisan follow-up voter education." Goal of registering 1,293,500 minority and low income voters by November 2004. National Director: David Leland.
Americans of Faith: Operation Vote.
"Americans of Faith is conducting an extensive, non-partisan voter registration and mobilization drive called OPERATION VOTE, designed to help Christians and the nation's communities of faith fully participate in the life of the nation. Research indicates that up to 30% of Evangelical Christians are not registered to vote or failed to vote in the 2000 election. This has created an urgent need for a registration and mobilization project - a need Americans of Faith seeks to fill through Operation Vote." Founded in 2004 by Christian leaders Ed Atsinger and Jay Sekulow, Americans of Faith is a non-profit 501-c organization.
Right to Vote.
"The mission of the Right to Vote Campaign is to remove barriers to voting faced by people with felony convictions, so they may freely participate in the democratic process. To achieve this goal, we aim to change policies, practices and perceptions concerning felony disfranchisement at the local, state and national levels... RTV has also launched, and provides technical assistance to, state-based campaigns in five target states -- Alabama, Florida, Maryland, New York and Texas." Headquartered in New York.
25. Redeem the Vote.
"As a non-profit, non-partisan organization, Redeem the Vote aims to reach America's young people of faith and engage them into the 2004 election where voters will determine the direction of cultural issues that impact their lives. Redeem the Vote has a simple goal: Increase voter registration and voter turnout by young people of faith all across the nation." Founder Dr. Randy Brinson.
"iVoteValues.com was developed by For Faith & Family of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention in partnership with Details Communications." It is sponsored by Christianity.com. In mid-June iVoteValues.com launched a Mobile Voter Registration Rig and Information Center (tractor-trailer rig) starting out at the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Indianapolis.
27. National Coalition for the Homeless' "You Don't Need A Home to Vote." (old page)
With NLIHC National Coalition for the Homeless sponsored a National Homeless and Low Income Voter Registration Week Sept. 26-Oct. 2.
28. National Low Income Housing Coalition's Voter Registration, Education and Mobilization Project (VREM)
NLIHC is a group "dedicated solely to ending the affordable housing crisis in America." It has sought to into advance the issue on the national agenda, including injecting the issue into 2004 races. The NLIHC website notes that "the participation rate of homeowners in 2000 was twice that of renters (84.7% vs. 43.8%)." "In order to get affordable housing into the political debate, it is essential that low income people become more informed about the impact of federal policy decisions on their well-being, for low income people to be more engaged in the housing policy debate, and for low income people to vote in greater numbers. Organizer Katie Fisher developed and implemented the voter engagement project.
29. Hip-Hop Summit Action Network
Founded in 2001, Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) seeks to use "Hip-Hop music to serve as a catalyst for education advocacy and other societal concerns fundamental to the well-being of at-risk youth throughout the United States." HSAN has held over two dozen Hip-Hop Summits, registering thousands of young voters at each event. On Sept. 10 in Washington, DC HSAN launched a Hip-Hop Team Vote GOTV Tour to run through Dlection Day. Chairman is Russell Simmons.
28. The NOVEMBER 2 Campaign.
This effort is spearheaded by National Voice, a Minneapolis-based "coalition of non-profit and community groups working to maximize public participation in our nation's democratic process." The NOVEMBER 2 Campaign aims "to turn out a combined total of 4 million new voters—many of them women, young people, and people of color—on Election Day, by registering 2 million new voters and mobilizing 2 million infrequent voters." The message is simple--"NOVEMBER 2" on tee-shirts, billboards, and so forth. National Coordinator is Mark Ritchie, on leave from his position as director of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.
29. New American
Opportunity Campaign's "Immigrant Vote 2004"
"Immigrant Vote 2004, a cooperative project of the New American Opportunity Campaign (NAOC), is mobilizing an effort by more than one hundred grassroots groups to activate more than 2 million immigrant voters in 2004 in 34 states..."
Does not appear to have been updated recently.
WomenVote's USA Votenet.
Copyright © 2004 Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action