OCTOBER 13, 1956
COLUMBUS, Ohio—I have been struck by the fact that so many people were really concerned with getting us to register and vote this year.
On the plane coming into New York the other day the last thing our pilot said was: "Remember you have two days left to register and vote." I was astonished to have this come over the communication system.
I also want to pay tribute to all the teenagers who enlisted in the campaign for getting out the vote. They are called "Teenage Election Volunteers," and it is estimated that one million high school youngsters obligated themselves to take part in this nonpartisan teenage election drive.
The American Heritage Foundation started off this idea, which was sponsored jointly by Scholastic Magazine and the Foundation. The youngsters were given a button on which was written "Election Volunteer." This seemed to me a good thing to do, because it gives young people a concrete thing to represent their civic service.
I think, however, there is one important thing which New York City could do in the matter of voter registration. This would be to see that the people who do the registering attend more strictly to business during rush hours. Someone told me that he had to go three times to register, going away each time because he had to wait too long. The ladies registering the voters, instead of being completely businesslike, were talking to each other and, from my friend's point of view, wasting time.
And as far as New York City is concerned, there are a great many people who feel they waste time because they don't know where their place of registration is situated. They feel this information for every district should be announced over and over again on the radio so people will know where to register and vote.
And now for a little purely Democratic news. A group of women of the Democratic National Committee in Washington, among them Mrs. Adlai Stevenson Jr., Mrs. Fred Vinson, Myrna Loy (Mrs. Howland Sargeant) and Mrs. Todd Duncan, have volunteered their services to help launch the new "Democratic Mail Call."
This is a personal letter-writing campaign to get people to the polls on November 6. Mrs. Katie Louchheim, vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee, assisted by Mrs. Gladys Tillett, former vice chairman of the national committee, are coordinating the whole campaign.
They are getting men and women to write a minimum of five letters on their own personal stationery, urging friends and acquaintances to go to the polls and vote Democratic on November 6.
This is in the nature of a chain-letter undertaking because each will, in turn, ask five other persons to write to friends. In this way, they hope to reach thousands of people. These letters can be written in odd moments, no matter how busy someone is, and I think could win a much larger vote than otherwise on Election Day.