The Short of It:
Planned Parenthood will be registering voters for the 2016 election at its clinics, on college campuses as well as online in an effort to get disenfranchised populations active in the presidential election.
The Longer Version of It:
The nonprofit organization announced Friday that they would be launching a new nonpartisan campaign — called My Vote, My Voice — that would reach out to people who have been historically disenfranchised and educate them on the voter-ID laws of their states while also helping them in registering to vote. The campaign will be run by volunteers set up in 45 states at "action tables" outside of Planned Parenthood centers.
The new campaign launch comes on the heals of the Voting Rights Act's 51st anniversary which was signed into law back in 1965 in a move towards equality for African-American voters whose legal barriers affected their right to vote. The act took a major hit in 2013 when a Supreme Court ruling threatened to gut the legislation and struck down the requirement for local and state governments to ensure the approval of the federal government before altering voting policies. Both local and state governments have strong histories of voter discrimination.
In an effort to combat the long history of marginalization, Planned Parenthood, will reach out to the large number of affected people whom they already serve. Seventy-eight percent of Planned Parenthood patients earn incomes that are at or below 150% of the federal poverty line and a quarter of the patients are Latino.
This isn't the first time Planned Parenthood has made big waves in the 2016 election cycle. In early January the nonprofit made their first ever endorsement for a candidate of a presidential primary. The health provider also declared that they would spend at least $20 million during the 2016 election in an effort to beat Republicans at the polls and protect women's reproductive rights. Every year the organization treats 2.5 million patients, many of whom are young, low-income people of color.