My wife sent me a collection of websites for voters, and asked me to make editorial recommendations. Here is the first of the three aggregating sites she asked about (I’ll write about the other two in subsequent posts):
(1) CraigConnects voter protection
Yes, it’s the Craig of Craigslist. Mr. Newmark is concerned about voter suppression (mostly as the result of changes in election laws and policies). The links provided are an interesting mix, and include the Brennan Center (national surveys of voting requirements, policy analysis and surveys), the League of Women Voters, Rock the Vote (which almost seems quaint these days), a “get out the vote” initiative for Latino and Latina voters (votolatino), the Federal Voting Assistance Program (the Department of Defense-managed program for overseas and military voters), and the somewhat more exuberant and partisan Generation Progress.
The only critique I might offer is that in general these links are sort of high level. What I mean is that the websites are useful sources of advocacy for better access and treatment of voters, but (with the exception of the League of Women Voters local chapter links) for the most part they aren’t really designed to answer the most common questions that voters have on Election Day – namely, “Where do I vote?” and “Who is on the ballot?”
From a little digging around, a voter can get those questions answered, but the best sources for base-level questions about where and when to vote (especially in heavily-decentralized Texas) tend to be local. More on that later.
Here are my wife’s notes regarding what voting-related materials she found on the craigconnects.org site.
* “Brennan Center for Justice: The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law is a non-partisan public policy and law institute that focuses on the fundamental issues of democracy and justice.
* “Generation Progress [formerly Campus Progress] is a national organization that works with and for young people to promote progressive solutions to key political and social challenges.
* “Cost of Freedom Project: The Cost of Freedom Project is a citizen-led initiative that has developed location-based apps to provide voters with information on how to obtain a voter ID.” [Appears to have been founded in 2012. No main site I could find. Facebook and Twitter feeds are active.]
* “Federal Voting Assistance Program: The FVAP provides U.S. citizens worldwide a broad range of non-partisan information and assistance to facilitate their participation in the democratic process – regardless of where they work or live.
* “Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law: The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, is to secure equal justice for all through the rule of law, targeting in particular the inequities confronting African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities.
* “League of Women Voters: The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan citizens’ organization that has fought since 1920 to improve our government and engage all citizens in the decisions that impact their lives. LWV was formed from the movement that secured the right to vote for women; the centerpiece of the League’s efforts remain to expand participation and give a voice to all Americans.
* “Voto Latino: Voto Latino is a nonpartisan organization united by the belief that Latino issues are American issues and American issues are Latino issues; Voto Latino is dedicated to bringing new and diverse voices into the political process by engaging youth, media, technology, and celebrities to promote positive change.”