On Valentine's Day in 1920, a group of women stood together to create an organization centered on bringing justice to every man and woman.
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization that informs and encourages active participation in government. It helps the decision-making process through education and advocacy. It does not support or oppose any political party or candidate.
To serve the community one must be knowledgeable about the issues.
Barbara Licht, a dedicated volunteer with the league’s voter services committee, says she joined the organization to be of use to everyone in her community.
“There is no fair justice until everyone's voice is heard. Rather a small or a large number of people, their vote still counts for the majority within their demographic,” Licht said.
The League of Women Voters serves to bring awareness on social concerns like affordable Medicare and the effort to ban assault weapons.
Licht reveals the method of this long standing organization, and that is the loyalty of the community.
As a voter services committee member, Licht gathers information from stakeholders within the community and assists in organizing outreach initiatives to those individuals.
Stakeholders like the chair of the National Civil Rights Conference, Keith Parker, ensure the breath of such organizations by offering solutions through proactive and positive interaction.
The league provides a platform for Parker and Licht who are passionate about making others comfortable within society.
“Politicians are not going to please every single resident. They will aim to increase persistence in voting matters so that their choice is tailored to fit their belief for politicians,” Parker said.
Formerly incarcerated individuals, also referred to as re-entering citizens, are the prime examples of how the law can change for the better in response to the voice of the people.
School teacher and voter poll worker Ashley Tookes examines the turnout every election period. Tookes said, “When there is a consistent demographic, the numbers begin to translate in their treatment by society. It's best to legitimize your issues by using the law and your right to vote.”
Most of the members of the Florida section of the League of Women Voters are retired. Licht and Tookes would like to change that.
”We know who is voting by who’s elected to serve in office. Minorities are underrepresented,” Licht said.
Licht explains that the league is for every man and woman of all ages. “Organizations are more likely to do well with a diverse following than any others,” she said.
As for making it to the polls, Tookes provided Information regarding reentering residents.
“Former inmates should serve their complete time and probation before they can vote. Must possess their drivers license or their identification number. Currently, a reentering individual would have to pay down their fines before letting their voices be heard,” according to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.
The people do not have the power to make or pass laws. For those who are not registered to vote, registertovoteflorida.gov has thorough instructions for individual of every background.