Local | Opinion

National Voter Registration Day is a reminder to fulfill civic responsibility

successful and enduring democracy needs the active participation of its citizens. Such participation requires voting. By casting your vote for a candidate who reflects your values and interests, you are directly affecting your future and the future of our country. By failing to vote, you are enabling others to make critical decisions about your future — decisions that may have a direct impact on the lives of generations to come. The United States Association of Secretaries of State strongly believes that having informed citizens who are fulfilling their responsibility to vote, and therefore help chart our future, is essential. Therefore, they have established the fourth Tuesday in September as National Voter Registration Day.

This year’s National Voter Registration Day will be Tuesday, Sept. 25. It will be so announced in a proclamation issued by Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Greater Tucson. The day was established to underscore the need to work toward creating an informed and participatory voting public and to thank those individuals and groups already working toward that goal. The LWVGT is planning events to be held in conjunction with Voter Registration Day.

The LWVGT, a non-partisan organization, has encouraged informed and active civic engagement since its inception in 1941. It has worked toward creating an increased understanding of public policy issues and toward facilitating and increasing the number of new voter registrations, and of those actually voting. It has emphasized the need to register younger voters and encourages future candidates through its “Running and Winning” program that enables female high school students to interact with current women candidates to better understand the process. Its Voter Registration Unit trains both LWVGT members and non-members to staff voter registration sites throughout Tucson. This is an ongoing effort. An example of a non-member group training would be a session held at Congregation Or Chadash, sponsored by Or Chadash’s social justice and action committee. The work that this committee has done, both in registering new voters and in emphasizing the need to vote, has played a significant role throughout Tucson.

The LWVGT, in coordination with the League of Women Voters of Arizona, also reviews ballot propositions and initiatives and then prepares a pro/con brochure for distribution. It holds voter education programs open to the public, such as the one planned for Sept. 15, “How to Be an Informed Voter in the Post-Truth Era.”

The LWVGT has a general website, www.LWVGT.org, and a website focused on voting, www.TucsonVotes.org, and can be found on Facebook and Twitter. The LWVGT is an all-volunteer organization, with no paid staff. It welcomes new members — men and women 18 years and older. For more information about the voting process, the upcoming election, the LWVGT programs, volunteer opportunities and membership, visit the website or call the office at 327-7622.

Our future is up to you: Remember to vote!

Janet E. Belkin is a board member of the League of Women Voters of Greater Tucson.