Tuesday, November 4, 2008

WASHINGTON: Helping A New Voter Get To The Polls

Here's another inspiring story about the important work that volunteers are doing to help their neighbors participate in this election. This story from Washington CAN! is an example of many other stories around the country.

A major focus of Washington CAN!'s get-out-the-vote work this year has been new voters from immigrant communities. This year, Washington's many immigrant communities are turning out in unprecedented numbers, in districts across the state where they've been traditionally underrepresented.

Tonight, a volunteer doing GOTV phone-banking spoke with Maryan, originally from Somalia, now living in south Seattle. Maryan has been a citizen for four years, and registered for the first time this year. A mother of three, she felt that she needed to make sure that candidates that shared her values got into office. She was very excited to vote, but hadn't received the absentee ballot she'd requested. She knew she would have to go to her polling place, but she didn't know where it was and she worried about not knowing what to do if and when she got there.

Our volunteer put her in touch with Washington CAN staff who not only helped her locate her polling place, but drove her and her kids there and helped them navigate this important new experience.

Maryan is proud that she was able to do her part tonight by voting. Her children are proud, too.

And those of us lucky enough to be doing this work today, wherever we are, can be proud that our efforts helped one more of America's newest voters cast the first ballot of her life.

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