For Immediate Release
Voters Finally Cast Ballots, Make Decisions in Election 2014
Pro-Voter Election Reforms Must be Implemented Across America
Statement by Elisabeth MacNamara, National President of the League of Women Voters
WASHINGTON - "Today, after months of relentless attack ads and millions of dollars in dark money campaign spending, American voters are going to the polls, casting their ballots and making their voices heard. The League has been there for all eligible voters in communities across this nation, making a powerful contribution to election 2014. We are proud of our work this year, registering, informing and helping voters participate in this important election.
“At each and every opportunity, we urged voters to visit the League’s greatest resource VOTE411.org and it paid off. Since 2006, VOTE411 has helped millions of voters find the important election information they need to participate and vote by answering the most commonly asked questions – am I registered and, if not, how do I register, who’s on my ballot, where is my polling place, and what rules and requirements do I need to know before voting?
“During election 2014, I visited five battleground states where I saw the incredible work of League volunteers. They are active in their communities year round but best known for their election work. Year after year, they work tirelessly to serve their communities and this year was no different. We have been registering tens of thousands of new voters, providing nonpartisan information on the candidates through millions of printed and online voters’ guides and hundreds of debates and forums, and helping voters on Election Day by serving as poll workers, poll monitors and, in some cases, drivers helping voters get to the polls.
“Unfortunately, our work serving voters has become more difficult in recent years as legislatures in numerous states have passed laws making it more difficult to register, vote and have that vote count. We have seen laws that require onerous proof-of-citizenship and residency requirements in order to register to vote and discriminatory photo ID requirements as a prerequisite to voting, as well as cuts to early voting, elimination of same-day registration and restrictions on community-based voter registration drives, like those hosted by Leagues.
“Nationally, the League of Women Voters and its state and local affiliates are fighting anti-voter laws in order to protect the rights of all eligible voters but clearly our work is not done. Many voters were prevented from casting a vote in this year’s elections due to new and, in some cases, continuing barriers.
“A sustained, national effort to reform our election laws is the only way to ensure our elections are free, fair and accessible to all eligible voters. Five important steps would accomplish major improvements in election administration and would let voters know that they are the central actors in our nation’s democratic system. Voters in every state deserve an election system that serves them and includes secure online voter registration for all eligible voters, permanent and portable statewide voter registration, expanded early voting options, improved polling place management, and electronic streamlining.
“Voters turned out today, to what level we will have to wait and see, but clearly voters want a say on the issues that matter most to them like jobs, health care and the security and future of their communities. The many organizations and elections officials that encouraged voter participation and helped people navigate the hurdles throughout the election process deserve praise.
“In every state in the union, Leagues are doing the work that the League does best: arming voters with the information they need to get to the polls and make the choices that will best serve our nation, our states and our communities. It is the work that the League has done for almost 95 years and there is no one that does it better than us.”
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The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, has fought since 1920 to improve our systems of government and impact public policies through citizen education and advocacy. The League's enduring vitality and resonance comes from its unique decentralized structure. The League is a grassroots organization, working at the national, state and local levels.