Interview Transcripts

Avi Green, Executive Director of MassVote, concluded that "Massachusetts would do well to adopt this reform that is already successfully employed in many of its sister states, and pay attention to the more than 30 years of success those states have had with Election Day Registration.”

What do you think is MassVOTE’s main message to the public?
AG: To not only encourage voting but also encourage educated voting. We are non-partisan, so we do not support either party, but we do give information on the policies of both candidates. MasssVOTE was founded, in 1999 by Malia Lazu, to increase voting especially in racial minorities. Today we hope to honor this.
What is the most important thing to remember about voting?
AG: Voting is not something to take lightly. When voting, the public should be aware of the weight their vote has in the election. Vote often, but vote well.
How can a person become more involved?
AG: We can always use volunteers. In order to get more information, contact the press aides of the candidates who can send you brochures. Volunteer at poll booths and volunteer to help at campaigns.
What is the best way to get out the vote?
AG: Don't just vote yourself. Bring others with you. Make it a community effort. Every vote is counted and not voting is wasting your right. If you are voting, encourage those around you to vote.

David Ortiz:
Why is it important to have an organization that employs voter outreach?
DO: This organization is so vital to the community because fundamental outreach methods are practiced. It's only useful if it is effective and MassVOTE is very effective in promoting voter education.
Which program is the most involved in civic engagement?
DO: We have many great programs, but the one closest to my heart is the Young Civic Leaders program for high school'ers to inspire the youth to get involved. These are the leaders of tomorrow and because they are young and so full of life, they really get the message across.
Why is voter education important?
DO: Without voter education, people who voted would not know basic stances of the candidates. Our representatives are supposed to have our best interests in their platforms. It's important to vote for the right representative for your community.
What do you want people to take with them the most in terms of voting?
DO: I want people to understand that elections happen more than once. Don't just vote for the president and not vote for the mayor or the senators or House of Representatives.

YCLer - Ngan Ton:
1. How does MassVOTE inspire you?
MassVOTE inspires me to be active in my community. It has taught me to build relationship from relationship and to strengthen the community through our most fundamental rights and beliefs.
2. Why did you want to work at MassVOTE?
MassVOTE started simply as a job I held on the side to save up money. However, it didn't take too long for me to be swept along by the Election Day Registration and National Popular Vote excitement. It has given me the chance to be active in my community and has taught me skills and values that I would not have learned elsewhere.
3. How has what you learned at MassVOTE affected your perspectives?
MassVOTE provides a work environment that is diverse beyond compare. It has opened my perspectives to the political process as well as the cultural diversity in our own office.
4. What do you think is the most important reason to vote?
The most important reason to vote is to exercise the most basic right that our founding fathers struggled and fought for in order to pass down to us. Should we not vote, we will be governed without so much as say in how it is that we are governed.
5. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? 10?
I see myelf in graduate school and tentatively dipping my fingers into the nonprofit sector.
6. How do you think MassVOTE makes an impact on the community?
MassVOTE is a well-known name in the community. MassVOTE has helped educate voters, increase voter turnout, and fought for bettering election processes.
7. What are some of the most important lessons you learned at MassVOTE?
The most important lesson I've learned as a Young Civic Leader at MassVOTE is that being a leader takes more than courage, charisma, and determination. It is as much about stepping back and following as it it stepping forward and taking the initiative.

YCLer - Julian Arroyo:
1. How does MassVOTE inspire you?
It brings out a newside of me that I never knew I had. working for massVOTE has become more then just making money but it feels like it mean something. It feels like the work were doing at massVOTE means something and that were actually making a difference.
2. Why did you want to work at MassVOTE?
I knew a little bit about politics and thought this job would give me a further understanding on the little I knew. seeing my family do so much around politics it always been an interest of mines and massvote was a chance for me to do more with politics.
3. How has what you learned at MassVOTE affected your perspectives?
I understand that voting is important and while working at massvote it gave me a chance to puch back on important issues affecting our communities those of which being the importance of Election day regerstration and the popular vote.
4. What do you think is the most important reason to vote?
To make sure your opinion is counted these politicains directly afffect our lives and if we the people don't pick the right person we want in office then this could impact the way we live our lives negativly for the years they are in office
5. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? 10?
Hopefully by then i would have graduated college and i will be able to start my own organization
6. How do you think MassVOTE makes an impact on the community?
Massvote gets people regerstered to vote so if we continue getting people regerstered and voting we can make sure to get the right people in office and that can help us better our comunities.
7. What are some of the most important lessons you learned at MassVOTE?
Working at massvote I had the chance to learn many lessons that have to do with professionalism but most importantly i learnded the value of teamwork.

Senior Tech Staff - Dorothy:
1. What do you think MassVOTE stands for?
MassVOTE is an organization founded and made for people who want to improve society through civic engagement.
2. How does civic engagement improve society?
Civic engagement gets community members involved with the law making process. If you are a person who needs something, who is going to fight for your needs if you do not vote for tyhe candidate who will help you?
3. How do you think MassVOTE promotes civic engagement?
Oh tons of ways. Here, at MassVOTE, we give trainings for pollworkers, why is voting important sessions, and we're trying to make voting as easy as possible. We have lobbied at the Senate and House of Reps for Same Day Registration, Absentee Voting, and many other things to improve the voting experience.
4. How does MassVOTE inspire you?
MassVOTE inspires me to give back to the community by doing all I can to get the vote out. It's so important to exercise the right to vote, that I can't even begin to describe the good things that voting promotes.
5. What can we do to help?
If you want to help, vote. And if you are to young to vote, develop voter awareness. Read about the candidates. This makes a huge difference.