By Leo Burman
The League of Women Voters of Central Nassau partnered on Oct. 28 with Hofstra University’s in-house public relations agency, The Swing Agency, to host a voter registration drive at Hofstra’s home volleyball game. The LWV, a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to empowering voters and defending democracy through advocacy, education, and local, state and national litigation, turned to The Swing Agency to help get out the youth vote. LWV of Central Nassau is an active group led by President Ann Leiter that works with 14 communities in central Nassau.
Adriana Whitlock, The Swing Agency account lead who worked the voter drive, said, “The Swing Agency has been given a great opportunity to allow LWV to reach their desired young demographic. As a college student, my colleagues and I understand how young people can be reached. We’ve cultivated a social media culture and helped the social media presence of LWV emerge and grow.”
Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation in 2022 that extended the deadline period for New Yorkers to register to vote. Before that, voters had to register 25 days prior to the election. Now, voters can submit their registration forms to the Board of Elections 10 days before an election.
In the 2022 general election, over one million voters cast ballots across Long Island’s Nassau and Suffolk counties, a turnout nearing 49%. Roughly one in five New York State voters was a Long Islander last fall. The Island accounts for less than 15% of the state population.
To engage young voters, the LWV co-organized a voter registration drive recently on the first day of early voting with the Civics Center, a nonpartisan group committed to increasing voter registration among young people, and the Hofstra women’s volleyball team. The Civics Center raffled off an Apple Watch to draw attention to the registration drive. Raffle participation was not contingent upon registration. Michael Ventrice, an audio and radio engineering graduate student (class of 2025), won the watch.
The Swing Agency worked with the League of Women Voters to maintain traditional outreach tactics by producing on-air public service announcements and social-media outreach. The Swing Agency recorded six PSAs with the four-time Marconi Award-winning radio station, WRHU at Hofstra University, urging people of all ages to get involved and engage in their democratic right.
Leo Burman, Swing Agency associate lead, said before the election, “We are in the process of pitching our PSAs to other radio stations in the Long Island area that directly reach the 14 towns where LWVCN does their work. We are hopeful to work with more than just WRHU and give LWVCN more exposure. The PSAs are influential, unbiased and magnificantly produced, with state-of-the-art recording material.”
As a part of the league’s “Power of One” campaign, The Swing Agency strategy focused messaging around the weight of a single vote, especially in local elections. It is a common myth that important elections only happen during the presidential and midterms seasons. Local elections take place every year, yet low voter turnout in these elections can potentially have more impact on our daily lives than most people realize. Leiter said she was delighted with the result of The Swing Agency campaign, noting the students involved were “a dedicated group . . . that understand our mission. The Swing Agency did a fabulous job with the PSAs and worked hard to represent LVWCN.”
The general election was held Nov. 7.