The local League of Women Voters chapter will celebrate its 75th anniversary on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center.
Dr. Deborah Turner, national president of the League of Women Voters, is scheduled to speak at the event.
The chapter, the League of Women Voters Orange, Durham and Chatham Counties (LWVODC), was founded as the League of Women Voters of Chapel Hill in 1947. It later expanded to include the additional counties.
The league is a nonpartisan organization that provides resources to voters and encourages civic participation, according to its website.
Jennifer Rubin, president of LWVODC and vice president of the League of Women Voters of North Carolina, said the chapter is currently focused on the upcoming midterm elections.
“That's what we spend a lot of time working on are the elections, getting people registered to vote, making sure they're registered properly, making sure that people are aware of the of the candidates and the issues on the ballot and encouraging them to vote," she said.
Rubin added that while the upcoming midterm elections have taken precedence, the group also has interests in public education, environmental issues and the redistricting process in North Carolina.
Rubin said that Turner will speak about topics the national league has been keeping an eye on at the event. She said the talk is open to the public and encouraged UNC students to attend.
Rubin said it is important for other organizations to also do work around voter education.
“It's not our sole mission," she said. "It's an important mission for us, but it should be a really important mission for lots of other organizations.”
One resource LWVODC uses is Vote 411, which is funded by the League of Women Voters Education Fund. The website provides nonpartisan information on candidates across the country. Rubin said it is especially useful to students, who may not know where to vote on campus.
Natasha Young, the leadership development program coordinator at UNC's Student Life and Leadership, said the Civic Engagement Working Group has used Vote 411 in its work.
“The Civic Engagement Working Group is really designed to be a cross-campus collaboration or coalition of student leaders, predominantly from student organizations that are committed about doing civic engagement work on campus,” Young said.
Young said the group frequently uses and shares Vote 411 with students so they can use the information to understand who's running, what the position entails and the candidate’s stances.
“It's such a cool resource,” Young said.
She said it is fantastic to see a group that does good work being sustained for 75 years.
Barbara Foushee, Carrboro Town Council member and LWVODC member, said she was impressed with the league’s work when she first heard about Vote 411 during her campaign in 2017.
“I think it's good to have (the anniversary celebration) on UNC's campus and hopefully get some of the students there in attendance for an event like that, especially in the midst of preparing for the midterm elections,” Foushee said. "We have a lot of candidates that are campaigning, but more importantly, just keeping the conversation going about the importance of getting out to vote.”
She said she appreciates the work LWVODC and other organizations do to provide voters with information because “that’s the template our country is built on.”
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