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Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Charlotte Cooper

A nonprofit organization is encouraging women in Queens to become more civically engaged.

Over the next two weeks, the Women’s City Club of New York (WCC), a nonprofit, non-partisan, multi-issue activist organization, will host voter registration events in Jackson Heights and Jamaica to gear up for the upcoming primary and midterm elections.

WCC will set up voter registration tables across the city to encourage women to vote, update their addresses if they’ve moved and sign pledge cards making a vow to vote. Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA) will be funding this effort as part of their civic engagement initiative, where WCC and other organizations work to amplify the voices of individuals and families in low-income communities.

Voting data showed that from 1953 to 2013, the percentage of New Yorkers who turned out at the polls drastically decreased from 93 percent to only 26 percent. During the 2016 presidential election, New York ranked 41 out of 50 states in voter turnout.

WCC attributed the decrease to several factors including lower levels of educational attainment amongst New Yorkers, which reflects a need for programs to promote civic engagement.

“Today it is more important than ever for New Yorkers to become involved in our democratic voting system and advocating for their own needs,” says CEO Carole Wacey. “WCC wants to ensure all New Yorkers have the opportunity to participate in our democracy not only in our state and local elections but in the midterm elections, by registering and engaging more potential voters who may not otherwise be civically engaged.”

The first voter registration event will be on Tuesday, Aug. 7 at the Jackson Heights Library (35-51 81st St.) from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. The second event will be on Wednesday, Aug. 15, at the Queens Central Library (89-11 Merrick Blvd.) from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

“Voting is the cornerstone of civic engagement, and this campaign reflects our efforts to bring diverse voices, particularly those who are seeking access and opportunities to affect change and have an impact, to the table,” Wacey said.

Below is a list of key registration and voting dates:

  • Aug. 19:  Last day to register to vote in state and local primaries
  • Sept. 13:  Primary Day
  • Oct. 12:  Last day to register for the general election
  • Nov. 6:  Election Day

For more information on the upcoming events, visit wccny.org.

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