SALDEF and Virginia Sikhs Get Out the SikhVOTE

November 14th, 2017

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Leading up to the November 7th elections in Virginia, SALDEF SikhVOTE worked to encourage registration and to teach new voters their rights as well as  give them the resources to understand the importance of  and when to vote. This campaign began in the summer and continued right up to election day. The SikhVOTE campaign consisted of onsite trainings at Gurdwara’s, phone banking, distributing handouts, and sending a mailing to registered voters — all with the intent of increasing Sikh American voter participation.

SALDEF’s employees and volunteers mailed out over 4,000 informational cards and called nearly 3,000 Sikh voter households in the Virginia area during this SikhVOTE campaign. Additionally, SALDEF registered a number of new voters at Gurdwara forums and educated hundreds more on voter rights and resources for the November 7th election.IMG_0608

SALDEF’s employees and volunteers mailed out over 4,000 informational cards and called nearly 3,000 Sikh voter households in the Virginia area during this SikhVOTE campaign. Additionally, SALDEF registered a number of new voters at Gurdwara forums and educated hundreds more on voter rights and resources for the November 7th election.

“One of the easiest and most impactful things our community can do is ensuring they are registered and cast their vote in every election,” said SALDEF Executive Director Baldev Singh. “SALDEF is committed to providing support to Sikh Americans across the country, in a non-partisan manner, to ensure that our community’s voice is amplified on the local, state and federal level.”

Many voters that SALDEF helped register to vote, would not have or did not know how to register to vote. Santosh Kaur, an American citizen and a resident of Virginia, has been in the U.S. for 15  years, but yet had never voted. With the help of SALDEF Santosh Kaur registered to vote and then voted for the first time on November 7.

“I had never known about the importance or need to register to vote before,” said Santosh Kaur.  “Had it not been for the efforts of SALDEF and the SikhVOTE team, I would have never voted in this or any other election.”  

Launched in 2012, SALDEF’s SikhVote initiative has been active in the past two Presidential and midterm elections, as well as during off-cycle state elections in the states of California, New Jersey and Virginia.

SALDEF is thankful and acknowledges the dozens of volunteers whose tireless efforts made this work a reality.  We extend our appreciation to APIAVote and New Virginia Majority for the financial and technical support in empowering the local Sikh American community of Virginia to make sure their SikhVote was heard.

SikhVOTE is a non-partisan project of SALDEF with the purpose of empowering Sikh American voters. SALDEF is a 501(c)3 non-partisan organization that does not advocate on behalf of any party, candidate, or campaign. 

© 2017 saldef.org