Election Day Registration
Moving Iowa Forward
No one said achieving a progressive agenda would be easy. Last count, there were 420 bills sent from the U.S. House of Representatives to the U.S. Senate where they languish in inaction, a.k.a. gridlock. Let's hope President Obama is right when he says Democrats should retain control of both legislative chambers.
Elections matter and my frame of reference is a small precinct in rural Johnson County where we can win in November. Of the roughly 1,240 registered voters here, 475 are Democrats, 365 are Republicans and the remaining 400 are green or no preference. At this writing, about 15% of our Democrats have early voted and there remain a number of outstanding absentee ballots. With hard work, we may be able to cast 20% of our votes by the November 1 postmark deadline for absentee ballots. This leaves us with roughly 275 doors to knock or phone calls to make to get out our vote during the final push. Clearly doable and when people say the Democratic ground game is better, this is why: we know the number of votes needed to win, and will work to get them cast. This is true not just here, but in many precincts across Iowa.
The question in Iowa is what will the no-preference voters do? There is a false perception that no-preference voters are “independent.” In some households, there is a mix of Democratic and Republican registered voters and they can mostly be expected to follow their party. However, in more cases than not, one household resident is registered with a major party and the other is registered no-preference. One assumes that the household where one person is registered Democratic and the other no-preference, there will be an effect of turning out no preference voters for Democrats. This holds true for Republicans, but because of the Democratic registration advantage, the net benefit is Democratic, especially when the Democratic ground game advantage is considered.
Progressives can make a difference and prove pundits and pollsters wrong by becoming a part of the ground game, talking to friends, neighbors and people you may not know to persuade them that the opposition wants to take the country back. When they say “back,” they mean back in time. That time was the time of off-shoring jobs, breaking unions, reduction of public services, unregulated excesses on Wall Street and the assault on the middle class that started during the Reagan administration.
No, we can't afford to go back, we should do everything we can to move our agenda forward.
~Paul Deaton is a
native Iowan living in rural Johnson County and weekend editor of
Blog for Iowa. E-mail
through Election Day – Early Voting across Iowa**
Bruce Braley Shares our Values
By Caroline Vernon
As you all know, election time is right around the corner, and once again, we will all make choices about who will best represent the people of Iowa.
I'm sure most of you will agree, this is a very critical time in our country. We continue to see a shift in wealth with the top 2% of Americans already owning over 90% of all wealth while rising unemployment robs middle class families of the ability to meet basic needs, let alone plan for the future. The future for many of us has become quite uncertain. Meanwhile the “the party of NO” with incredulous audacity, willfully blocks the extension of unemployment benefits to Americans who are struggling to feed their families while fighting for extending the tax cuts for the predator class at the top of the food chain – the richest 2%. We hear the argument that they are the ones who will create jobs in this country, which begs the question, why haven't they? They already have all the money… where are the jobs??? This shift in wealth just didn't happen overnight.
After the SCOTUS ruling on the Citizens United case, corporate America has been given the green light to flood our political process with unfettered amounts of money, further eroding the integrity of our elections. We are literally fighting for our democracy. This is why we need someone in the halls of Congress who is not afraid to stand up to these entrenched special interests and fight for the common people of this country (the other 95%). That someone is Representative Bruce Braley. Bruce continues to demonstrate he is not afraid to tackle the tough issues head on, speak truth to power, build coalitions to find common ground, and offer creative solutions to the many difficult issues we face today.
Bruce has been fighting to introduce legislation to help our veterans and troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, fighting to boost investment in Iowa's clean energy economy and working to create more opportunity for Iowa's families and small businesses. In March of 2010, President Obama signed into law a tax cut Bruce introduced to encourage small businesses to create jobs and hire previously unemployed workers.
Bruce fought the Pentagon bureaucracy when nearly 600 Iowa National Guard soldiers returning home from Iraq were denied full GI Bill education benefits. He took on the Pentagon again when more than 700 Iowa National Guards were denied their Respite Leave benefits, introducing legislation that resulted in thousands of National Guard troops across the country receiving the benefits they had earned.
To increase transparency and make government more accountable, Bruce introduced and passed legislation to simplify government forms like tax returns and benefit applications.
Currently, Bruce sits on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. As Vice-Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Bruce works to hold corporations accountable and protect families from unsafe food and drugs and defective products.
This past summer, Bruce took on BP CEO Tony Hayward exposing their “willful” safety violations as a matter of policy. You can watch the exchange here:
In short, Congressman Bruce Braley shares our Iowa values. I am proud to call him my congressman. If you live in the 1st district of Iowa, please cast your vote for Bruce and send him back to Washington to do the people's business. We need him.
on every issue across the spectrum - the passage of this bill
would give the people of Iowa an unprecedented opportunity to take back
control of our legislature from the special interest groups that have
too often dominated the outcome of policy. There are MANY reasons to
pass VOICE – passage of this bill would free-up our legislators
from the all consuming cycle of fundraising so they can spend more
time working on the actual issues that affect their
constituents, and citizens would have more faith in the system and
the legislators that represent them. Legislators would no longer be
beholden to the special interests that help get them elected. In other
states where similar bills were passed, they are seeing a big increase
in people running for office than ever before and in Arizona
voter turnout has increased by as much as 20%. The passage of
VOICE is a win-win for everyone involved… that's why WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW.
bill, SF 553, is in an Appropriations sub-committee comprised of
Rep. Dave Jacoby (D-chair), Rep. Jo Oldson (D) and Rep. Dwayne Alons
(R). It will come up for a vote in that committee
either Tuesday (3/27) or Wednesday (3/28). If passed, it
then goes to the full committee and becomes “funnel-proof.” That
means the likelihood for debate on the floor of the House
increases. However, we learned on Friday that the Appropriations
sub-committee plans to “kill” the bill, at the request of
urging them to support SF 553. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is a firm
supporter of the bill so please call him, thank him for his
support and urge him to continue pushing for passage of the bill.
are only 6 telephone calls that will take up very little of your time
– the small effort required on our part can make a BIG difference for
the future of our state! Please refer to the Word document (see
attachment) that outlines the general information and primary
benefits of the bill, SF 553.
Rep. Dave Jacoby (D)
House District 30 — Johnson County
Home Telephone: 319-358-8538
Rep. Jo Oldson (D)
House District 61 — Polk County
Home Telephone: 515-255-2805
Rod Roberts (R)
House Switchboard: (515) 281-3221.
House District 28 – Dubuque County
Home Telephone: (563) 582-5922
House Telephone: (515) 281-5566
House Majority Leader
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (D)
House District 67 – Polk County
Home Telephone: (515) 953-5221
House Telephone: (515) 281-7497
(PLEASE THANK HIM FOR HIS SUPPORT!)
Senate Majority Leader
Senator Mike Gronstal (D)
Senate District 50 — Pottawattamie
Home Telephone: (712) 328-2808
Business Telephone: (515) 281-3901
Take action! Call,
your local legislator today! Find out where they stand on the
bill, urge them to support it and ask them to urge leadership and
committee members to do the same! It's not
enough to simply ask them if they support the bill — if they do,
ask them what they are doing to ensure passage of this bill.
House Switchboard to reach all
Enact Election Day Registration in Iowa!
Iowa state law requires people to register 10 days before an election.
Just when a race gets interesting, it's too late. It's time
for Iowa to take away the barriers and allow citizens to register to
vote on Election Day.
Citizen Action Network (ICAN) is currently working with legislative
leaders in the House and Senate and with the Iowa Secretary of
Stateâ€™s office to promote Election Day Registration (EDR)
legislation. EDR is very reasonable voter registration policy, and is
currently in effect in two of Iowa's neighboring states, Minnesota and
Wisconsin. ICAN has been active in promoting civic engagement for its
entire history – registering voters door-to-doorr with its field
organizing efforts, and running non-partisan voter mobilization drives.
Making voter registration easy and convenient is an effective way to
increase civic participation. Allowing registration on
Election Day brings people into the electoral process who are often
excluded, like students, renters, and low-income people.
asking all members of the State House of Representatives and Senate to
publicly support Election Day Registration and open up the electoral
process in Iowa. Please contact your legislators TODAY in support of
Take Action Now! Your Activism Makes a Real Difference!
your state representative and senator that you support Election Day
Registration legislation and that you want them to help it
pass. PLEASE USE YOUR OWN WORDS as much as possible when
you email, call or write to make your position known. And be sure to
include your name, address, and phone number so that your elected
officials can let you know their position.
To contact your Senator and Representative visit the Iowa General Assembly web site:
use any of the following points when telling your legislators why you
are asking them to support Election Day Registration:
Election Day Registration is one of the best ways to make voting
accessible for all eligible citizens, especially young people and those
who have recently moved.
will make elections easier to run because it will end the need for the
vast majority of provisional ballots. Voters who have problems with
their registrations or have recently moved, will simply register at the
polls and cast a regular ballot.
* EDR is
safe from voter fraud. Registrants are required to provide
identification and proof of residence, and strict penalties apply to
anyone who attempts to register fraudulently.
Dear Senator (or Representative) __________________,
you to help pass the Election Day Registration bill. This bill would
allow eligible voters to register to vote on at the polls on Election
electoral process is something that should be open to all eligible
citizens. Unfortunately, the current voter registration
deadline 10 days before the election closes off participation just as
many people start thinking about the races.
states already allow Election Day Registration, and voter participation
in these states is 12% higher than in states with pre-election
registration cutoffs. These states have proved that EDR
places, it has actually made elections run more smoothly because it
eliminates the need for provisional ballots, as voters who don't show
up at the rolls can just register on the spot. There have been no
documented cases of election fraud arising because of Election Day
Registration, which requires photo ID.
Please help pass Election Day Registration in 2007 and encourage the entire State Legislature to do the same.
to put your e-mail, phone message, or letter in your own words – the
previous sample letter is justt included as an example!
For more information on Election Day Registration, visit ICAN on the web or see the website of our nation partner on this issue, Demos.
you for joining the effort to make the most fundamental right we have
in our democracy – voting – acceccessible to anyone who is eligible to
And as always, please let us know that you took action –
To learn more about ICAN's work or to get more involved contact
Amy Logsdon, ICAN Political Director at 319-354-8116 or
ALogsdon@IowaCAN.org and visit ICAN on the web at