Last night, President Obama delivered his final State of the Union (SOTU) address. For the fourth year in a row, the League live-tweeted the speech! Across the country, state and local Leagues and our supporters tweeted, tracking how the President’s speech matched up with the League’s key priorities, including voting rights, climate change and money in politics.
We were particularly excited by the attention given to the need to invest in civic engagement and improve our voting and elections systems. The League has been working to expand voting and improve our elections system for over 95 years. Most recently, we’ve urged the Obama Administration to come into compliance with the National Voter Registration Act by providing the opportunity to register to vote to those signing up for health insurance through the health care exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act. Such action would mean millions more eligible citizens would be able to register to vote. We’ve also suggested five ways to improve our elections system to make it work better for voters, including online voter registration for all and expanded early voting.
Following last night’s speech, League president Elisabeth MacNamara echoed the President’s call for increased civic engagement: “It is long past time to have a democracy that is truly representative of all voters. Imagine what would happen if every eligible citizen showed up at the polls. Imagine what would happen if candidates had to be more responsive to the people they represent than to the donors who fund their campaigns.”
Check out our Storify below to catch up on the President’s speech! Thanks to everyone who participated!