Getting Out the Vote in 2021
It has been a very busy election cycle. We partnered with: the League of Women Voters of New York State, PUSH Buffalo, VOICE Buffalo, the Buffalo Jewish Federation, Self Advocates of New York State, the Hispanic Heritage Month organizers, and the Buffalo Literacy Center.
Barb Jezioro coordinated our efforts for candidates for countywide offices in Erie and Niagara Counties and invited them to post their biographical statements and answer questions on Vote411.org for both the primary and general elections. Some responded, and voters have been able to compare candidates’ points of view.
Voter registration tabling
We held 20 voter registration events at the ECC campuses, Villa Maria College, Medaille College, the University at Buffalo, and the Main Library. Twenty-two volunteers filled 30 tabling slots. We registered 127 new voters, made 216 contacts with those who were already registered, met 31 people who were not registered or who didn’t plan to vote, answered 32 questions, and had 10 other interactions. We handed out seven absentee ballot request applications, 88 early voting site lists, 123 LWVBN information/reminder cards, 42 LWVNY Voting Guide Part I cards, 97 LWVNY Voting Guide Part II Cards, 40 TRY pamphlets, and 33 voter registration forms that folks took home to complete.
On October 14, our League, in partnership with the Buffalo branch of the NAACP, the Buffalo Jewish Federation, Self Advocates of New York State (SANYS), and VOICE Buffalo, organized a webinar to explain four of the proposals on this year’s ballot. I also explained those proposals at a statewide meeting of SANYS the previous day.
The Doorknob Hanger Project
Photo Credit: Becca LaCivita, 2021
From left to right, Amherst hockey team players Ryan Hoffman, Will LaCivita, Nick Scime distribute doorknob hangers in the Lovejoy district.
With the help of Tyrell Ford of PUSH Buffalo, we identified 371 registered voters in six low-turnout precincts in two low-turnout Common Council districts in Buffalo. We selected voters who had a 40%-60% “voter propensity,” likelihood to vote. We filled 400 large doorknob hangers with voting materials and handwritten postcards reminding recipients to vote on November 2. Volunteers wrote postcards, stuffed doorknob hangers, and distributed them in the six precincts. We have the names of these voters, and hope to research the results to see how many of those who received our information voted.
Information and materials distribution
In addition to materials distributed at voter registration tables and in doorknob hangers, we distributed 4,760 LWVBN reminder/information cards, 250 LWVNY Voters Guide I cards, 2,810 LWVNY Voters Guide II pamphlets in English, 996 Erie County early voting site lists, 200 LWVNY ballot proposal recommendation cards, and 1,367 LWVNY Voters Guide II pamphlets in Spanish to the following groups: the Buffalo & Erie County Public Libraries, PUSH Buffalo, the Buffalo branch of the NAACP, NOAH/Niagara, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Buffalo Literacy Center, VOICE Buffalo, Broadway Market, and the North Tonawanda Pubic Library. Self Advocates of New York State received an electronic copy of the LWVBN information/ reminder card and LWVNY Voters Guide Part II, and SANYS and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community received copies of Barbara Gunderson’s easier-to- read PowerPoint on the ballot proposals.
Volunteers who made it all happen
Mike Egan, Jennifer Hoffman, Patti Meyer-Lee, Alberta Roman, Taylor Seitz, Fran Holmes, Terri Parks, Eileen Cassidy, Ann Zawicki, Onda Simmons, Kathie Macaluso, Lillis McLean, Sandra O’Hara, Nina Lukin, Shirley Joy, Liz McGough, Cindy Havey, Ramona Gallagher, Susan Dombrowski, Ruth Haines, Barb Jezioro, Alice Rosenthal, Joan Simon, Lauren and Dave Petit, Becca LaCivita and her team, Liz Zausmer, Barbara Gunderson, Margaret Sontag and her daughter, Lauren and Cindy Pristach, Peg Mergenhagen, Mary Scheeder, Janet Goodsell, Barbara Heifferon, Maria Evancho, and Lucy Rados.
Barbara Gunderson, Voter Service Chair
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