Teamwork is Key to Swing Left Volunteer Berl Hartman’s Maine Voter Registration Success

 In Action
Berl Hartman (far left) and fellow volunteers working to register voters in Maine

With nearly 1,000 new voters registered in Maine as of September 12, Berl Hartman and her fellow Swing Left volunteers in Maine are making significant progress with new voter registration. A hugely successful voter registration drive on Pride Day in Portland this past spring was a big win, but it also presented a new problem to solve: getting all those voter registration cards where they needed to go. Two or more for the same city must be sent to the relevant city clerk, whereas singles are sent to a central location in Augusta, and each collection of cards needs a cover letter. Enter volunteers Carolyn Marsden and Tom Shiple, who have both taken on that back-end processing work. Tom has used his IT expertise to create a system that automates look-up of districts and the letter writing. The team effort is not only satisfying, but effective.

What inspires Berl, besides her passion to fight climate change? Registering young voters on college campuses. That’s “really invigorating and uplifting,” she said. Need inspiration? Watch this video of the Portland Pride effort.