League of Women Voters: Using their voice
February 27, 2017
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On Thursday, Sept. 29 between 10:30 and 11:45 a.m. in the commons area, the Bartlesville chapter of the League of Women Voters (LWV) will be holding a voter registration drive. Every year during the fall and spring, they hold drives at the high school, Rogers State University, Tri-County Tech, the Bartlesville Public Library and Green Country Village.
The volunteers at the drive will help people fill out the form for registration, check that everything is done properly, take it directly to the Washington County Courthouse and answer any questions along the way. This brings accessibility and convenience to registering to vote, a process that some unfortunately believe is tedious.
Connie Lavoie, a member of the LWV, is one of the faces students will be seeing on Thursday.
“The League of Women Voters wants to register everyone who is eligible to vote,” said Lavoie.
The LWV is a nonpartisan organization formed during the women’s suffrage movement to help women voters with their new responsibilities. Now, it advocates for an informed and voting public.
Taking inspiration for the LWV’s beginnings, Lavoie said, “Things don’t happen right away, but you have to work to make progress. If you don’t vote, you definitely don’t have a chance.” With an election as odd as this upcoming one is, Lavoie said, “These times create opportunities.”
Although the LWV works year-round to register voters and update voting information, this time is particularly busy.
“This year is a crucial time to vote because of the presidential election,” said Lavoie. “The deadline to register to vote Nov. 8 is Oct. 14.”
Young people are vital to the country’s future. Lavoie said, “The things that are happening now will affect them [young people] later.” Voting will directly impact the youths’ lives this time. “Younger people have learned to be more skeptical,” said Lavoie, “I think this can make a big difference, especially now.”
“We need people to not be afraid to be idealistic and take action for what they believe in,” said Lavoie.
Lavoie’s main focus is on the democratic process rather than a specific personal outcome. She, along with the rest of the LWV, wants as many people to vote as possible because that is what a democracy is. A commonly used line by the LWV, said Lavoie, is, “Your voice is your vote.”
Other opportunities to register to vote with the LWV include the college fair at the high school Sept. 29 at 5-6:30 p.m. and at the public library on National Voter Registration Day, Sept.27, as well as Sept. 28 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both days.