Turn Out the Vote

Friday, November 25, 2011

Larry Norden, deputy director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center, Adrienne Kivelson, city affairs chair of the League of Women Voters of the City of New York, Lucia Gomez-Jimenez, executive director of La Fuente, Mark Winston Griffith, adjunct faculty at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, Rachel Bishop, national programs director at the League of Young VotersChung-Wha Hong, executive director of the NY Immigration Coalition, and John Stremlau, vice president for peace programs at the Carter Center, brainstorm ways to turn around the city's low voter turnout.

THEN a conversation about how campaigns approach voter turnout with Michael DuHaime, Republican political strategist and partner at Mercury Public Affairs, and Doug Forand, Democratic political strategist and founding partner at Red Horse Strategies.

Watch the full video of the event below.


Rachel Bishop, Michael DuHaime, Doug Forand, Lucia Gomez-Jimenez, Mark Winston Griffith, Chung Wha Hong, Adrienne Kivelson, Larry Norden and John Stremlau

Comments [10]

mary from Manhattan

why does every activity we do have to be online? It becomes one more elimination of human contact
this is the one time where I feel a great sense of community and contribution when I go to vote. I usually see one or two people that live in my neighborhood that I have not seen all year and it is a good time to catch up and share what is going on.
Once immigrants become US citizens, they cannot wait to cast their first free vote.
Even though I do not agree with 95% of what is happening in the US, I still vote for that 5%.
I think a lot of voters have given up because of so many broken promises and lost faith in their constiuents.
i worked at the polls on 9/13 and 11/18 of this year and the turn out was so poor -
A combined total of 75 for both days.
No one was aware of the candidates or the issues.
Is Civics sill being taught in the schools. It's usually the kids that can encourage their parents to register and vote.

Nov. 25 2011 12:08 PM
Vivienne Lenk from Little Neck

Regrettably, we are a car-driven society and people coming to the polls want to be able to park easily and get out: solution: Valet parking on Election Day --free, of course. Also, immigrants should not just have a rudimentary command of English to be able to be naturalized --they should be asked questions about how they think simple things are paid for, from picking up the garbage to paying for Medicare: then there would not be this idiotic movement against taxation.

Nov. 25 2011 11:59 AM
Jean Gazis from Brooklyn

Getting people to go vote, only to find that the only "choices" are people they've never heard of who are running unopposed will not encourage more participation. We need meaningfully contested local elections!

Nov. 25 2011 11:58 AM
Nick from UWS

This entire discussion is based on the erroneous assumption that the democratic process is just fine if only more people would participate in it.

It is not addressing AT ALL the abysmal, extreme and deeply entrenched corruption that exists in all government processes.

Therefore this discussion is useless and without purpose.

Nov. 25 2011 11:41 AM
Lisa from LI

I think that the issue is really not how to get people to vote once every four years, but how to develop a citizenry that is continuously engaged. So there needs to be a way to keep people engaged and feeling like they have an active stake in their communities - continuously. Schools can do a terrific job at presenting students with opportunities for meaningful civic engagement.

Nov. 25 2011 11:37 AM
Elsie from Brooklyn

This panel discussion is in complete denial of the fact that the problem with our system isn't that people don't vote; the problem is that our politicians are bought and paid for. Furthermore, our politicians aren't interested in the underclass voting which is why classes which teach civics have been considerably cut from curricula, particularly in NY where the public education system is abominable.

The fact that NYC kids are so poorly educated in our public schools is no accident. It's also no accident that NYC has the highest income inequality of any other U.S. city. Lack of education = lack of civic participation. Lack of civic participation = the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. To sit around talking about how to get more people to vote is entirely missing the point. There is a reason things look the way they do in NYC.

Nov. 25 2011 11:37 AM
Ken Curtin from Brooklyn

New York State's election law is a disgracefully complicated labrinth intentionally designed to keep non-party regulars from getting on any primary or general election ballot. If it were possible for community activists to run for local office they would bring their grassroots supporters to the polls.

Nov. 25 2011 11:33 AM
Nick from UWS

Why don't people vote? :

Politicians lie 100% of the time.

The US Government lies 100% of the time.

The Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court shows that the Supreme Court is 100% in the pocket of corporate interest, and this outrageous Orwellian decision was out of the control of the American people.

Politicians are shills for thieving corporate interest to help funnel public and private funds into corporate pockets.

Our democracy is 100% corrupted and this corruption is completely out of the control of the American people.

Nov. 25 2011 11:33 AM
Jim Polichak from Long Island from Long Island

Our Corporate Overlords want {perhaps need?} us to vote in high numbers to help them maintain our illusion that we have control of {or can maybe influence} our government.
In my youth I was very active politically but I still remember the words of my grandmother back then when she used to say... "Why vote? It only encourages them."

Nov. 25 2011 11:16 AM

Last election (2011), the ballot consisted of no more than five offices to decide on. Of the entire ballot, all but one was unopposed. I walked away from my polling place thinking "why bother?".

Nov. 25 2011 11:14 AM

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