Grassroots strategists, voting rights activists launch iVote to go on offense for voting rights

WASHINGTON, DC -- iVote, a new voting rights campaign dedicated to the powerful notion that every eligible citizen should vote, launched an offensive today against orchestrated efforts to block people from voting. iVote will target Secretary of State races in Colorado, Nevada, Iowa and Ohio, activating grassroots armies to elect Secretaries of State who will protect every American's access to voting.

There are groups committed to denying Americans the right to vote advance their own narrow interests -- purging legitimate voters from the rolls and erecting barriers for select voters, especially seniors, young people and those who live in certain neighborhoods.

Just last week, Republicans launched a Super PAC targeting Secretary of State races where they hope to install officials that will diminish, delay or deny voting access to millions of eligible voters.

"We can no longer sit back as a coordinated and well-funded effort to block voting goes state-by-state, denying access to millions of eligible Americans," said Jeremy Bird, iVote Board Member and National Field Director for President Obama's 2012 campaign. "We're going on offense to elect Secretaries of State who will protect every American's right to vote."

iVote won't stand by as some Secretaries of State ignore their responsibility to be non-partisan administrators of our country's voting process and continue to suppress the vote, and therefore the voice, of all Americans. These coordinated campaigns to create new barriers to voting by instituting discriminatory voter ID laws and dual registration systems, as well as purging certain voters from the rolls, are just wrong.

"The Secretary of State is the chief advocate for voters. Their job is to defend all eligible voters against attacks on their rights and push to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat. I've seen first-hand the danger posed by Secretaries of State who use their role to try to sway elections for partisan gain rather than acting as fair administrators of our democratic process," said Jocelyn Benson, national voting rights expert and 2010 Democratic nominee for Secretary of State in Michigan. "iVote is the first group of it's kind to stand up for everyone's right to vote. They will build a grassroots movement to fight back against the coordinated effort to deny people their right to vote."

"iVote will fight to ensure that our Secretary of State offices are filed by men and women committed to the ideal that every eligible American can participate in our great democracy," added iVote board member Michael Blake. "Imagine the strength of our democracy if everyone voted. iVote will help us get there by electing officials who will fight for same-day registration, expanded early voting, online voter registration as well as military and overseas voting."

The iVote Board of Directors includes Doug Sosnik, Frank Smith, Ellen Kurz, Jeremy Bird, Michael Blake, Rachael Cobb, Ralph Paige, Wendy Smith and Pete Giangreco. iVote is being advised by 270 Strategies, AKPD, David Binder Research, and Greenberg Rosner Research.

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