“A hundred years ago a group of women would not be talking about preparing to vote this fall.” Thus began Kendal Gladish, moderator of the “Our Voices—Our Votes” panel held by the Women’s Fund of Central Texas at the LBJ Presidential Library on September 26 at the University of Texas Law School. The video is linked here and we encourage you to watch it for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that it contains Southwest Key’s Valerie Joiner speaking on her experience registering people to vote. Valerie worked all summer in the field to register 642 citizens in Travis County with the help of East Austin Voter Mobilization’s Daniel Llanes and PODER’s Susana Almanza. Also on the panel were Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir and Texas Tribune editor Emily Ramshaw.
With less than a third of registered voters actually voting nationwide, the Women’s Fund sought to create a dialogue about how to improve voter registration and voter turnout. Dana DeBeauvoir discussed recent trends in registration and turnout in Travis County while Emily Ramshaw did the same for the state level and Valerie shared her experiences as a voter registrar on the ground, getting first-hand feedback from real live Texans. She also invited everyone in the room to attend the “Rock the Box” Early Voting Party at Southwest Key on October 26 from 3-7 PM. We have it on good authority that Ms. DeBeauvoir plans to attend!