April 27, 2020
Media Contact: Megan R. Smith
Committee of Seventy Launches WeVote to Promote Culture of Voting and Encourage Vote-by-Mail in 2020 in the Commonwealth of PA
PENNSYLVANIA - April 27, 2020 - On Tuesday, April 28, Philadelphia-based good government group Committee of Seventy will launch WeVote, a statewide campaign to prepare and support organizations and businesses, civic leaders, and elected officials across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to promote a culture of voting in their communities - and specifically, champion statewide vote-by-mail.
There is nothing partisan about making local democracy more accessible; and as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the country, Pennsylvanians shouldn’t be forced to choose between their health and their right to vote. Currently, five states conduct all elections entirely by mail, and twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia offer no-excuse absentee voting. Vote-by-mail has shown to increase voter turnout as it removes obstacles for voters, letting them decide when, how, and where they vote.
Says David Thornburgh, President and CEO of Committee of Seventy, “People should not have to choose between making their voices heard and keeping themselves and their families safe. In this Year of the Voter, expanding access to vote-by-mail and promoting a culture of voting that increases citizen engagement and voter participation are critical steps for this moment. Local governments, civic and business leaders, and community anchors all owe it to Pennsylvanians to do everything in our collective power to make sure our elections are accessible to everyone, and that citizens are both informed and ready to make their vote count.”
With WeVote, Committee of Seventy is championing the call to vote by mail and is providing resources to inspire voters to get informed and take action, by providing the following tools:
The WeVote Website & seventy.org: complete with details on the Five Habits of Effective Citizenship; comprehensive, nonpartisan information about the candidates that are on the ballot across the Commonwealth; rights and responsibilities as a voter; and updated details on deadlines, registering to vote, and how to vote by mail.
BYOBallot: a platform that allows voters to put in their address, make a plan to vote, receive their customized ballot, save their picks - and if they’d like, share with others.
And the C70 App, which puts the Voter Guide, the BYOBallot, Studio C70 webcast and podcast episodes on a range of election-related topics, and everything else you need to vote right at your fingertips. Users are encouraged to act by voting by mail or volunteering, and to join teams and earn points for completing civic actions.
The WeVote site also promotes the Five Habits of Highly Effective Citizens to ensure a vibrant local democracy and prosperous democratic republic:
Be a Voter
Choose Your News Wisely
Invite Diverse Perspectives
Learn How it Works
What’s more, to further educate voters on vote-by-mail and activate everyday citizens to be more engaged in the election process, Committee of Seventy will:
Keep voters updated with Studio C70, a web and podcast featuring interviews with candidates and with city, state and national leaders on the issues of the day, effective government, and the WeVote message for 2020.
And meet voters where they are - at home - with a series of WeVote @ Home virtual conversations, hosted by KYW Newsradio’s Cherri Gregg and featuring local, regional and statewide elected officials, and civic and business leaders. The first one takes place on Monday, May 4, 6-7:30pm with a focus on the particulars of vote-by-mail, followed by the second WeVote at Home on Monday, May 18, 6-7:30pm with a discussion on promoting the culture of voting to diverse communities, in the midst of a health crisis.
To get engaged with the WeVote initiative, visit wevote.seventy.org.
The purpose of the Committee of Seventy’s WeVote awareness campaign is to inspire citizens in Pennsylvania to vote, to inform them on how to vote safely and effectively, and to engage them with nonpartisan information and resources about the choices they’ll make in the upcoming elections. Learn more: wevote.seventy.org
ABOUT Committee of Seventy
We’re voters. We’re 116 years old, and we believe that when more people vote, and are better informed, democracy wins. Since 1904, we have led the effort in Philadelphia (and now, beyond the city) to make our government more representative, transparent, and accountable. We have been - and continue to be - nonpartisan civic leaders, and together with our partners, we’re here to provide citizens with everything they need to vote in 2020, and every year after. Learn more: seventy.org