Although the League never supports candidates or political parties, we are actively involved in political activities at all levels of government and will certainly be closely watching both parties’ conventions this summer. The primary mission of the League of Women Voters dates back to our formation in 1920, just a few months before women finally gained the right to vote in the United States. Being able to vote and protecting our right to vote, we felt then and feel now, is of utmost importance. But we also want to encourage women voters—and all voters—to be informed about the candidates and issues on their ballot, to actively participate in their government, and to understand major public policy issues.
Over the years since our founding, we have worked to educate voters about those issues and to advocate for policies that we have closely studied and believe to be of utmost importance. During this year and next, the League of Women Voters of the United States is concentrating on a program we’ve titled “Making Democracy Work for All.” We’ll be working on registering voters, protecting every citizen’s right to vote, informing voters about candidates and issues on their ballots via our Vote411.org online voters’ guide, and mobilizing voters to get to the polls.
Related issues we’ll be tackling include fair, nonpartisan and reasonable redistricting; and reforming the role of money in politics—hoping to decrease its influence while promoting increased disclosure and the formation of a new congressional public financing system. Some of you may remember that the League of Women Voters sponsored the U.S. presidential debates in 1976, 1980 and 1984. We can’t help thinking we would make the debates much more enlightening for the public, especially this year, if we could run them this fall. We do continue to sponsor candidate debates across the country at congressional, state and local levels. Meanwhile, we will be registering voters at Willard Park during the Republican National Convention next week.
And we urge all of you to join the League to help democracy work for all.