AAUW Action Fund Launches Get-out-the-Vote Effort to Mobilize Young Women

National Campaign to Inspire Millennials to Head to the Polls

WASHINGTON — Today, on what would have been the 192nd birthday of leading suffragist Susan B. Anthony, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Action Fund launched It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard, a nonpartisan voter education and turnout effort aimed at maximizing the electoral power of women in the 2012 election.

As the largest generation since the baby boomers, today’s 18- to 30-year-olds present the strongest opportunity to increase voter turnout among women. Millions of young women will be eligible to vote for the first time this year, and many others have yet to establish the habit of voting. As part of this national campaign, the AAUW Action Fund is providing grants to 15 target states to help them increase the influence of women in shaping public policy through grassroots outreach and voter registration.

“AAUW stands on a rich history of civic engagement and voter education,” said AAUW Executive Director Linda D. Hallman, CAE. “We recognize the power of a single vote, and we will do everything we can to encourage all citizens to cast an informed ballot. Women must get involved in the political process to ensure that the issues they care about get the attention they deserve.”

In addition to mobilizing young women, the My Vote campaign will also focus on critical issues that affect women’s everyday lives, such as jobs, college affordability, and health care, including access to birth control.

“This campaign takes an approach that is unique to AAUW,” said Seth Chase, AAUW’s national field director. “We have hundreds of branches across the country with ties to their local communities and college campuses. Our members have the opportunity to establish lasting relationships with young women, to engage them on the issues, and to encourage them to vote and be heard.”

As part of the My Vote campaign, AAUW is also sponsoring “Every Four Years: Presidential Campaigns and the Press,” an interactive exhibit at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Opening on February 17, the exhibit will include historical information about the suffrage movement, particularly how candidates’ wives became more influential in elections after women won the right to vote in 1920. The exhibit will also feature campaign ads, artifacts used by the press and candidates on the campaign trail, and an interactive voting booth where visitors can cast “ballots” for the 2012 presidential election. The exhibit will be updated throughout the 2012 campaign and will run through Inauguration Day 2013.

The AAUW Action Fund advances equity for women and girls through member activism and voter mobilization. Since 1881, AAUW has been the nation’s leading voice promoting education and equity for women and girls. Both organizations have a nationwide network of 100,000 members and donors, 1,000 branches, and 600 college and university partners.

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