AARP joins registration effort

America Online, MCI WorldCom and the American Association of Retired Persons

on Thursday announced a new campaign to make it easier for Americans of

all ages to register to vote.

The three organizations unveiled BeAVoter.org on Capitol Hill, joined

by members of Congress and the Close Up Foundation, a national civic education

group.

The new World Wide Web site enables voters to simply select their state

and then fill out an online registration form. Within 10 days a paper copy

arrives in the mail; that copy is then signed and mailed back to the voter's

state election office in a pre-addressed envelope provided by BeAVoter.org.

The non-partisan, non-profit site was established with the mission of

using the online medium to register as many new voters as possible, from

first-timers to people who have lived through numerous election cycles.

"With a growing number of older Americans going online, this is an excellent

way to make political participation easier than ever," AARP (www.aarp.org)

board member Rutherford Brice said in a release. "With today's issues affecting

younger voters for years to come, AARP wants to make sure younger Americans

have an equally strong voice in our democracy."

BeAVoter.org can be viewed in both English and Spanish and was designed

by Fairfax, Va.-based Capitol Advantage, a producer of political Internet

tools. The site follows the launch of a similar project from iVillage.com,

the online women's network, which recently teamed with the Internet election

company Election.com to enable people to register to vote online (see civic

3-6-00).

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