Civic engagement groups to ensure state’s voters ready for upcoming elections at GA Capitol rally on National Voter Registration Day

For Immediate Release | September 20, 2013 | ATLANTA — On September 24, 2013 National Voter Registration Day, hundreds of metro Atlanta residents will join with leading civic engagement non-profits working around the state to make sure all eligible voters in Georgia are registered.

A press conference at the Georgia State Capitol will kick off the day at 9:30 a.m. At this event, community leaders will urge the importance registering to vote and of voting.  They will also address important changes to voting laws, including impact of the Supreme Court decision regarding the Voting Rights Act in Georgia, and to call for a day of action registering voters across Metro Atlanta.

State and local elections are critical—over 1,500 political races and ballot initiatives will be decided in local elections across the country this Election Day, November 5, 2013. City races across the state will determine who is elected mayor and who will serve on city councils and school boards. These elections are crucial to our communities and how they are governed. This year, we want to make sure that every Georgia voter counts.

WHO: 9to5Atlanta, AFL-CIO (Georgia), Atlanta North Georgia Labor Council, Asian American Legal Advocacy Center (AALAC), Coalition for the People’s Agenda, Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO), Georgia Equality, Georgia Conservation Voters, Georgia Legislative Black Caucus; Georgia Rural Urban Summit (GRUS), Georgia Stand UP!, Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions (Georgia WAND); The League of Women Voters (LWV) of Georgia & Gwinnett LWV; NAACP; Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE), Planned Parenthood Southeast, Sierra Club and eligible voters.

WHAT:Press conference to kick off National Voter Registration Day. Eligible voters will learn about the importance and power of voting, Georgia voting rights laws, hear from community leaders on voting issues in the state, and register to vote

WHEN:Tuesday, Sept. 24 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

WHERE:Georgia State Capitol – Washington Street Side.

Civic Engagement Organizations will hold Voter Registration Drives around Metro Atlanta in celebration of National Voter Registration Day on September 24:

  • 5 Points MARTA 9AM-12PM by League of Women Voters and 3pm -7pm by Coalition for the Peoples Agenda, League of Women Voters and Partnership for Southern Equity
  • Kroger – HWY. 85, Riverdale: 11:30AM – 2PM by GRUS and PSE
  • Grady Memorial Hospital Atlanta: 12PM – 2:30PM by Georgia WAND
  • Westend MARTA Station, Atlanta:  1PM – 3PM by 9to5
  • College Park MARTA Station, College Park:  3PM – 7PM by GRUS/Georgia WAND
  • Gwinnett Public Library – Norcross Branch (6025 Buford Highway), Norcross 5PM-8PM by Gwinnett LWV and GALEO
  • University of West Georgia campus  by LWV of Carrolton-Carroll County
  • University of North Georgia – Jerry Gonzalez/GALEO will be speaking to and registering students; Canvassing effort to register Latino voters in Gainesville neighborhood by GALEO

Group quotes:

Deborah Scott, Executive Director, Georgia Stand UP!: “As we reflect back on the last 50 years, it is important that we continue to fight to ensure that marginalized communities are not disenfranchised. Voter registration, education and voting in every election is not just a right but a responsibility that we all have to protect. “

Nathaniel Smith, Chief Equity Officer, Partnership for Southern Equity:  “Voting registration is linked to shared prosperity. True equity cannot be realized without a strong democracy. Strong participation by all in this process will ensure our journey toward justice is a sure one.”

Becky Rafter, Executive Director of Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions (Georgia WAND) : “Voters have the power to swing critical local elections one way or the other, but they also hold the power of protecting our democracy. Voters in rural areas, young people, and women—including single women—are underrepresented at the polls. Therefore we are investing in programs to get them fired up about voting and staying plugged in to the political process from start to finish.”

“Our goal is to protect the right to vote and to ensure all citizens have equal access to the ballot. Registering to vote is the first step!  We’ll help you understand the process and help overcome any barriers you encounter on registering and voting. Don’t be intimidated, exercise YOUR POWER – VOTE!” said Helen Butler, Executive Director of the Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda

Jerry Gonzalez, Executive Director, Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO):  “The right to vote is sacred and should be protected.  It should also be exercised.  GALEO works hard to ensure that the Latino electorate is coveted and respected.  The recent growth indicates it can and will be making a difference in elections this year and years to come.”

Elizabeth Poythress, Board President of the League of Women Voters of Georgia“On Tuesday, November 5th you will be voting for the officials to represent YOU and your community. These elected officials will have a profound impact on how you get to work, what job opportunities are available, the quality of education, access to healthcare and on your pocketbook!    Your vote WILL make a difference!

Register to vote now, get informed about the candidates and the issues, and then VOTE!”

Helen Kim Ho, Executive Director, Asian American Legal Advocacy Center: “Asian American voters in Georgia have the numbers to win several municipal elections throughout the state, and soon their voting power will grow to influence county and state elections.  Our goal is to ensure all Asian American immigrants and other new Americans are educated and have full access to the polls.”

Georgia Equality Field Organizer Wes Sanders  “Registering and engaging younger voters is a critical issue for us here in Georgia.  Not only can we create a new generation of committed voters but poll after poll has clearly shown that the millennial generation has strong views on a number of policy issues that differ from their elders.  If my generation is to have our views respected, we must have access to the ballot. That is the best way that we can elect leaders who will listen and understand our views.”

Amreeta Regmi, President, League of Women Voters of Gwinnett County “Voters are catalyst for change.  Putting this change within the context of changing demographics, the League of Women Voters of Gwinnett partners with GALEO to register voters in Gwinnett County. We are giving our voters an opportunity to transform our governance, legislation and legislators with their votes.”

Stacey Hopkins, Organizer, Georgia Rural Urban Summit: “We must not forget that every year is an election year and the importance of citizens being active civil participants is just as crucial for only national and state races, but for those on the local level. They hold just as much of an impact on communities, particularly for those who have been disenfranchised or disengaged from the political process such as communities of color, students and female voters or those new Americans who are unfamiliar with our system to become engaged. This lies at the heart of what powers our democratic system of representation and is an opportunity to bring those voices into the civic process and help them on the most crucial step and right of our democracy – exercising the right to vote.

Contact:

Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions (Georgia WAND)

Amanda Hill-Attkisson, 404-524-5999, Amanda@georgiawand.org

Courtney Hanson, 308-631-8543, Courtney@georgiawand.org