Press Release
From the Office of State Senator Rodney Ellis

For Immediate Release
September 17, 2004
Contact: Brandon Dudley, (713) 236-0306

Senator Rodney Ellis and the Houston Area Urban League encourage Houstonians "Don't Drop the Ball! Register and Vote!"

(Houston)// Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston and the Houston Area Urban League held a press conference today at the Houston Area Urban League's downtown office in an effort boost voter registration and to encourage Houstonians to get out and vote. The group unveiled billboards that will be posted around the city that display a website to access voter registration instructions and read "Don't Drop the Ball! Register and Vote!"

The deadline to register to vote for the for the November elections is Monday, October, 4th, 2004. "With the deadline to register to vote fast approaching, we want to encourage everyone to register and get to the polls in November. It's an opportunity for each and everyone one of us to make our vote count and have our voices heard," said Senator Ellis. Houston Area Urban League Executive Director Sylvia Brooks added, "It's not too late to register...We want everyone and every vote counted. We want everyone to know that they can register today at the Houston Area Urban league office downtown at 5340 Griggs, or on line at ''. We will also be registering people this weekend at Shape Community Center on Live Oak. Its your voice and your vote... now use it."

The most recent statistical data indicate that there are at least 100,000 citizens in Harris County who are eligible to vote but have not yet registered. Among those who were registered in Harris County, only 36% voted in the 2002 election. Only 52.77% of those registered voted in the 2000 Presidential Election. "Those numbers are particularly disturbing when you consider all that that has been sacrificed by previous generations so that people of all colors and genders can have a voice in the democratic process," Ellis said. "There were over a million eligible voters in Harris County alone that did not vote in our last major election. That means more than half of our population fail to exercise a right that so many have fought so hard for. That's something we have to change and it's the reason we are here to today." Rep. Garnett Coleman (D-Houston) added, "Throughout history, our nation's leaders, from George Washington to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., have fought, suffered and given their lives so that every American would have the right to vote. But you can't exercise that most sacred right if you don't first register. Don't get left behind this year, register to vote today."