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Getting Out the Vote

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The Swing State Project is committed to changing the leadership in the White House. Volunteers living in states where the election outcome is assured agree to vote by absentee ballot and to travel to swing states to work. Volunteers from 50 states have signed up and will devote the upcoming months to voter registration and door-to-door education about issues such as the environment, the economy, and healthcare. http://democracyweek.org/

The League of Women Votersprovides information on voter turnout, civic participation, and current public policy issues. The LWV web site offers an Interactive Center, where voters can write a letter to a member of Congress, sign a petition, or join a Grassroots Lobbying Team. The League publishes the booklet, “Navigating the Election Day,” to educate voters about the voting process. www.lwv.org, 202/429-1965

Project Voteregisters new and infrequent voters in low-income and minority communities through door-to-door canvassing and by placing volunteers at high-traffic sites. Project Vote educates people about issues that are important to them so they will have a reason to vote. Project Vote also works with local groups and individuals to build Voter Mobilization Networks, permanent coalitions dedicated to getting out the vote each election year. www.projectvote.org, 800/546-8683

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fundruns the Voces del Pueblo campaign, which focuses on those Latinos who are least likely to vote. Voces del Pueblo holds voter forums to identify areas of concern for under-represented Latinos, hosts debates and radio town halls with candidates, and employs phone banks and door-to-door canvassing to get out the vote. www.naleo.org, 213/747-7606

“A Million More in 2004”aims to register 1 million new 18- to 30-year-old voters for the 2004 election. Other objectives of the campaign include training 16- and 17-year-olds as poll workers, holding youth-oriented presidential debates, and encouraging candidates to state their positions on issues important to young people. http://vote.wwe.com

Rock the Votecombines celebrity endorsements with youth culture to make political participation cool. Community Street Teams made up of young activists attend concerts, graduations, and other events, where they register young people to vote and educate them about the political process. www.rockthevote.org

National Youth and Student Peace Coalition coordinated student anti-war protests leading up to the Iraq War and is now mobilizing to turn anti-war youth into a voting bloc. NYSPC urges students to vote for candidates who will fund education programs rather than military campaigns. NYSPC activists have lobbied elected officials, registered voters, and encouraged young people to sign a pledge to vote for “books, not bombs.” www.nyspc.org, 202/783-4751

Black Youth Vote, created by the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, is committed to helping 18- to 35-year-old black voters identify the issues and influence the public policies that affect them. BYV will reach young black voters by working on historically black college campuses, sponsoring a national media campaign to communicate the value of voter participation, and working with existing organizations to implement voter education and mobilization initiatives. www.bigvote.org/byv.htm, 202/659-4929

Kids Voting USAis a nonpartisan, national organization dedicated to teaching kids the importance of voting so they will grow up to be active and informed voters. Kids Voting USA offers classroom activities that prepare students for elections. The organization enables students to visit official polling sites on election day. The bilingual “Family Guide/Guia Familiar” is designed to help families learn about democracy and the value of being an involved citizen. www.kidsvotingusa.org, 480/921-3727

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