When did The American Legion begin campaigning for U.S. voter turnout?
Almost as soon as it was founded. The Second National Convention was held in Cleveland on Sept. 27-29, 1920 – prior to the first major election held since the Legion’s formation in May 1919. There, the new organization urged members to become qualified to vote, and then to do so. And resolution after resolution passed in the subsequent decades – including Resolution No. 4, passed at the 2007 Fall National Executive Committee Meetings – has reaffirmed the Legion’s commitment to getting Americans to exercise their democratic right and civic duty.
Resolution No. 136, passed at the 1952 National Convention, established the "Get Out the Vote" voter education and participation program, as well as aiming at nonmembers, Legionnaires are still encouraged to participate in the process by voting, volunteering and assisting others. The campaign continues today; learn more about it, and download the program guide at www.legion.org/vote.
The Legion is also committed to making sure that U.S. servicemembers serving overseas have every opportunity to exercise their own right via absentee voting. Resolution No. 141 passed in August at the national convention in Indianapolis, restated the Legion’s support for reform of the military voting system.