WHERE WE STARTED
The founders of I Vote Madison turned their attention to local government after being discouraged by national politics.
ADDRESSING THE UNPRECEDENTED
I Vote Madison started when Tara and Heather began filling resource gaps during the 2020 elections. Because of the pandemic, all voters in Alabama had the option to vote absentee. Absentee voting was new to many voters, and it can be a complicated and confusing process.
I Vote Madison stepped in and started helping voters. We teamed up with the League of Women Voters of the Tennessee Valley to hold drive-thru voter service events. Voters were able to maintain social distancing while getting absentee ballot applications, copies of their voter ID, witness signatures for their absentee ballots, and envelopes and stamps.
REALIZING OUR IMPACT
Before starting I Vote Madison, the founders began filling other gaps in the community due to the pandemic. They realized that advocating locally, as opposed to on a federal or even a state level, can get results.
Many parents were looking for alternatives to in-person schools for their children. The founders worked together to create a Facebook group where parents could connect with other families and education providers and find educational resources.
When the public schools transitioned to virtual learning, the group grew rapidly. Parents expressed concerns about virtual schooling, including a lack of communication from school leaders. Tara and Heather relayed these concerns to city leaders on behalf of their group members.
After speaking with school leaders, including speaking at school board meetings, the school district took action to address concerns. They posted more information on their social media platforms and the superintendent held a virtual meeting to address questions and concerns that parents had.