Registering new citizens to vote is hard work, but it used to be harder. “Houston League members spent years standing in the parking lot outside of M.O. Campbell, trying to register new citizens as they were walking to their cars,” said Benifield. “Thanks to those who tirelessly demonstrated the value of our VDVR efforts to authorities including the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services, in 2008 the League secured approval to reach out to new citizens right inside of M.O. Campbell.” As a result, there is a higher percentage of new citizens registered; in 2019, the average was 85 percent per naturalization ceremony.
“It is amazing to watch our VDVRs in action,” said MaryJane Mudd, President of the League of Women Voters of Houston. “You can count on around 40 people at each naturalization ceremony – those who have volunteered for decades because they are so dedicated to empowering voters. Their enthusiasm is contagious as they register new citizens on one of the happiest days of their lives. Truly, our VDVRs help to bring our mission to life.”