Two National Women’s Orgs - Pitch the Importance of Women Voters at New Jersey State Fair - Sussex County Farm & Horse Show
The AAUW-NJ (American Institute of University Women) is providing support to the League of Women Voters - LWV once again at the New Jersey State Fair - Sussex County Farm & Horse Show in Augusta, NJ. Members from the AAUW-NJ were encouraged by State President Sally Goodson to join up at the League’s voter form tables. This is a very critical registration year since this is the US presidential election year. The fair offers the convenience of New Jersey state residents the opportunity to register right at the fairgrounds table or by picking up a prepaid postage form to fill out at home.
Michele Guttenberger of AAUW-NJ of the Sussex County Branch was looking to get the attention of new eighteen year olds who haven’t thought about registering yet. Voters must register 55 days in advance before voting. The Fair offers young people perfect timing for registration.
Volunteering at registration tables is not the only occasion the AAUW-NJ and LWV of NJ have partnered up together. The AAUW-NJ has helped sponsor and co-chaired LWN’s created program “Running and Winning” for New Jersey High Schools. Concerned that many high school girls had little interest in politics due to the lack of female leaders in government, a workshop was designed for high school girls. They get to role play on interviewing candidates on a key issues and designing a campaign to promote their candidate. What was impressive about this program was that the High School counties involved got their most influential women to participate in this program. New Jersey State Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno has often attended these programs. AAUW-NJ would like to expand this program to counties in the Northern New Jersey area too. Attending the State Fair, AAUW-NJ members got to meet some of the influential women of Sussex County and an opportunity to pitch interest in the Running and Winning Program to them.
This year there has also been a big concern about voters being asked to produce more paperwork to support their voter registration. Although, New Jersey has not been in the news for these voting restriction tactics, this does not mean that it hasn’t impacted a family in New Jersey. Loved ones often move to lower retirement living states especially the elderly parent. AAUW-NJ President Sally Goodson stated her own personal experience.
“My Mother lives in Morgantown, West Virginia. She had moved from Florida to live with my sister. What a nightmare it was for my family to help my mother (age 90—who had not driven a car for many years) to get a non-driver photo ID so she could vote. She needed to get a stamped birth certificate from California showing her birth name, and her marriage certificate showing her married name. She had been divorced for over 40 years. She also needed a notary-signed certificate from her local Bank stating that she was who she said she was. This was a time and dollar expense to my mother that took over 3 months.”
Ms. Goodson wants AAUW-New Jersey to work with the New Jersey League of Women Voters to "never allow false voter challenges, intimidation, or other illegal deceptive practices to occur at New Jersey Election Polls.”
AAUW-NJ wants to also team up with AAUW members in sister-states of Pennsylvania and West Virginia to strive to prevent voter suppression that would undermine the hard-fought-for right to vote; the core of our American Democracy.
Ms Goodson said “I don’t think the Fair attendees know how precious their convenience to register at the Fair really is. I am appreciative of The League of Women’s Voters of Sussex Highlands’ Presidents Carolyn Lynch and Joy Ricker for their local management of this statewide campaign.”