Local lodges need to promote voter registration – and voting
Millions of voters fail to vote in every national election, giving up their best opportunity to influence the future of this country. Unfortunately, thousands of those nonvoters are Boilermaker members.
A state-by-state examination of voter registration rolls shows that fewer than 54 percent of Boilermaker members are currently registered to vote. That is a full 10 points below the percentage of eligible voters who cast ballots in 2004.
In 15 states, the percentage of Boilermakers registered to vote is below 45 percent, with Alaska and Arizona scraping the bottom with just of 26 percent each.
For decades, exit polls have shown that union members are more likely to vote than eligible voters who don’t belong to unions. But the Boilermakers union may buck that trend this election year, unless local lodges can get their members registered.
“Democratic elections are the greatest hope working families have,” IP Newton B. Jones told the Reporter. “If we vote with our full strength, we can determine who runs this country for the next few years. But you can’t vote if you aren’t registered. We need to get our members registered and then get them to the polls in November.”
Director of Government Affairs Bridget Martin encourages every member to register to vote – even if you think you are already registered.
“A lot of people who think they are registered to vote actually aren’t,” she explained. “In some states, failing to vote in one or two elections is enough to get you removed from the voter rolls. Others lose their registration by moving and forgetting to register at their new address.”
There is no penalty for registering again. The elections office simply notes you are already registered. But if you aren’t registered when you go to the polls in November, your vote will not count.
“Re-registering ensures your vote will count,” she concluded.