About the Institute
September 22, 2020
Edward M. Kennedy Institute Launches “Just Vote” Website on National Voter Registration Day
Kennedy Institute’s nonpartisan coalition of political and civic leaders to focus on the importance and fundamental right of voting for 2020 and future elections
BOSTON – Today, on National Voter Registration Day, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate announced the launch of www.JustVote.org, a comprehensive and permanent online resource for informing, engaging, and educating the American public on the importance and fundamental right of voting. JustVote.org contains critical information for voters including how to register, where to vote, how to vote, and when to vote. The site also features expert commentary, portals to live programs, historic and contemporary voting data, as well as links to other organizations all dedicated to the importance and fundamental political right of voting.
“Just Vote” is a non-partisan coalition of political and civic leaders dedicated to increasing civic engagement, youth activism, and voter turnout. In addition to the Board of the Kennedy Institute, including human rights advocate Martin Luther King III, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, former Senator Chris Dodd, and former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, the advisory group for “Just Vote” includes philanthropist and humanitarian Cindy McCain and former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, among others.
“In light of what is happening right now across our nation, “Just Vote” could not be more important or urgent. The mission of the Institute is intimately connected to the questions currently being asked about the future of our Democracy,” said Bruce Percelay, Board Chair of the Kennedy Institute. “It is our hope that the tools and resources we’ve made available through JustVote.org will captivate and motivate the next generation of American citizens to fully participate in our democratic process.”
The Institute’s focus on voter education comes at a time when millions of Gen Z Americans will be eligible to vote for the first time. This demographic is projected to make up 10 percent of the 2020 electorate, and when combined with Millennials, these two youngest generations of American citizens will comprise nearly 40 percent of eligible voters, according to the Pew Research Center.
“Throughout his career,” said Victoria Reggie Kennedy, President of the Board and co-founder of the Kennedy Institute, “my late husband Senator Edward Kennedy worked to expand voting rights and increase civic engagement. He believed especially in the transformative power of young people to effect the necessary change we need. In that same spirit, we are launching ‘Just Vote’ and JustVote.org.”
The Kennedy Institute is launching “Just Vote” in a year filled with significant voting rights milestones: the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 15th amendment; the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment; the 55th anniversary of passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965; and the 50th anniversary of extending the vote to 18-year-olds in federal elections.
“2020 is not just a year during which we celebrate the momentous achievements of those who came before us and all they accomplished for voting—it is a year that will forever be marked in the history books as a turning point for our nation,” said Kennedy Institute Board member and voting rights advocate Martin Luther King III. “I am proud to be part of an organization that deeply understands the importance of this fundamental political right. The Kennedy Institute has fully embraced its responsibility at this critical juncture for our democracy of empowering its citizens to get out and vote.”
As Senator Kennedy said: “The right to vote is the fundamental political right in our Constitutional system. It is the cornerstone of all our other basic rights. It guarantees that our democracy will be a government of the people and by the people, not just for the people.”
About the Edward M. Kennedy Institute
The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is dedicated to educating the public about the important role of the Senate in our government, encouraging participatory democracy, invigorating civil discourse, and inspiring the next generation of citizens and leaders to engage in the civic life of their communities. Learn more via www.emkinstitute.org.
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