New year, same mission – building a democracy that works for all of us.
In 2019, Alliance organizations are running aggressive campaigns to expand access to the ballot for all citizens. We are beyond excited to support these important campaigns and the inspiring young organizers leading them. Here are highlights of what the Alliance network is already leading this year:
The Oregon Bus Project just unveiled their new bill to lower the voting age to 16 – inspired by the incredible young people they’ve been mobilizing with over the last year. They are also pushing some major bills in the legislature like paid postage for the entirety of the state’s mail-in ballots – making voting even more accessible in the state!
New Hampshire Youth Movement is back at it, fighting a residency bill that would make students have to jump through many hoops to cast a ballot. They are mobilizing the new leadership (that they helped elect!) to get rid of the student residency requirements.
The organizing powerhouse in Milwaukee, Leaders Igniting Transformation, is continuing their push for Automatic Voter Registration, fighting back against lame duck efforts to limit early voting, and are mobilizing young voters to turn out upcoming spring elections.
The Forward Montana team is gearing up to fight voter suppression efforts in their state like a voter ID bill that would exclude student IDs (the worst). They are also championing Automatic Voter Registration, pre-registration for 16 year-olds, and efforts to lower the age of poll workers (or poll judges as they’re called in Montana) to 16 years-old.
Organizers at New Era Colorado have a packed legislative agenda aimed at expanding voting access. They are leading on efforts to require Voter Services Centers and ballot dropboxes on college campuses and lowering the voting age to 17 in primaries if the person will be 18 by the general election.
Also moving mountains in the legislative session is MOVE Texas. In Texas, anyone who registers voters must be deputized by the county (seriously). MOVE is fighting to make this process universal across counties and transferable from county to county. They are also fighting to allow student IDs to be considered acceptable identification to vote and are supporting allies working to establish polling locations on campuses across the state with at least 10,000 students. MOVE also recently joined a lawsuit against the Secretary of State to stop purging voters from the rolls – NBD.
Engage Miami, the crew that advocated and won additional polling locations at Miami Dade college campuses with partners last year, is back at it again. They’re fighting to keep these polling locations active in future elections and working to expand polling places to other campuses. With the successful passage of Amendment 4 (the ballot measure that restored the right to vote to millions of returning citizens in Florida), Engage Miami organizers are working to reach and register folks to vote affected by this amendment.
The Alliance’s newest affiliate, Georgia Shift, which is based in Augusta, is fighting for an early voting polling location at their local public university for 2020. They’re also fighting against efforts to reduce early voting times in upcoming elections. You can also find GA Shift pushing their board of elections to hire more young people as poll workers!
Finally, Chicago Votes is working hard this year to expand their voting in jail work by hosting monthly voter registration drives at Cook County Jail and running an absentee ballot program that would help people in prison apply for absentee ballots and vote. They are also pushing a slew of bills that include requiring people in pretrial detention to be given the opportunity to vote in all jails across Illinois; turning Cook County Jail into a polling location; giving people who are released a Know Your Voting Rights guide including voter registration opportunity; requiring trainings for election workers overseeing elections in jails; and providing civic education courses to people being released from prison. And as if this was not enough, they are also working on a civic education course at Cook County Jail for people in pre-trial detention. Yeah, it’s pretty awesome.
Our network is expanding our national imagination on what our democracy can look like. We’re proud to support groups that are leading the way on voting access and voting rights for all.