Drives to Register More Women Voters Are Successful Nationwide
Women's rights organizations are reporting success in registering voters across the country and in key target states as historic drives to get out the women’s vote continue in the weeks leading up to the presidential election on November 2. Leaders in the women’s movement spoke to the press today about their organizations’ efforts and the importance of the women’s vote, underscoring the fact that more women than men have voted in every presidential campaign since 1980, with 7.8 million more women voting in the 2000 presidential election.
Susan Carroll, a senior scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, said that this year, women voters have the ability to pull their own “November surprise,” adding that in 2000, more women voted than men in 17 out of the 18 states that were won by less than seven points.
Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF), was in Milwaukee, Wisconsin today to hold a Get Out Her Vote rally with Amy Brenneman, star of Judging Amy. Smeal discussed the enthusiasm students on college campuses across the country have demonstrated about this election, and their desire to fight for their right to vote in the face of student vote suppression. “We think it is a good day for democracy,” Smeal said. Smeal continued, saying that after 1.15 million women and men participated in the March for Women’s Lives in April, if an unprecedented number of women voters turn out, politicians will no longer be able to ignore the numbers.
Meanwhile, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is focusing its voter mobilization drive, 10 For Change, in ten key states, such as Florida and Pennsylvania, as well as nationwide through NOW’s state chapters. Kim Gandy, president of NOW, emphasized the impact women voters will have not only in the presidential election, but also locally, voting for state representatives and school boards.
Marie Wilson, president of the White House Project and organizer of Vote, Run, Lead, an initiative to encourage women to vote and to run for office, emphasized that these efforts are just the beginning. “We are not leaving after this election,” she said.