April 9, 2014
Contact: DNC Press
DNC Voter Expansion Project Announces Texas and Ohio State Directors; Additional National StaffWASHINGTON, D.C. — Today DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced the hiring of four additional state and national staff for the Democratic Party’s newly-launched Voter Expansion Project. The new hires are: Sondra Haltom, Texas Voter Expansion Project State Director; Lindsay Langholz, Ohio Voter Expansion Project State Director; Bobby Hoffman, Deputy Director of Voter Expansion and Zara Haq, Director of Knowledge Management for Voter Expansion. Haltom and Langholz will work with both the DNC and their respective state parties.
The hires follow a recent New York Times report detailing the Republican Party’s efforts to limit voting rights and a Monday release of a DNC video featuring Vice President Biden outlining the importance of the Voter Expansion Project.
“The DNC brings unmatched institutional knowledge and experience in voter registration, engagement and protection,” said Wasserman Schultz. “With our state party partners, we have a national infrastructure and team of experts that no other organization can bring to bear. Voting laws are rapidly changing, and our Voter Expansion Project will make sure that Democrats – and all voters – across the country are able to exercise their right to vote and make their voices heard.”
As the DNC and Democrats around the country seek to expand access to voting through the new Voter Expansion Project, Republicans continue their cynical attempt to make it more difficult for people to vote.
“As Republicans continue to impede the right to vote, limit our access to the polls, and make it more difficult to cast a ballot, Democrats are fighting to expand the vote and increase access,” said Pratt Wiley, National Director of Voter Protection at the DNC. “Our team is building a professional and permanent, in-house operation that will remain in place from cycle to cycle for Democratic candidates up and down the ballot.”
The Voter Expansion Project was first announced in a video by former President Bill Clinton to DNC supporters. This project helps ensure the Democratic Party not only protects the right to vote, but also works proactively with states across the country to expand access to the ballot box.
BACKGROUND ON NEW VOTER EXPANSION STAFF:
Sondra Haltom, Texas Voter Expansion Project State Director
Haltom has 15 years of experience working on election issues like ballot access, voter suppression prevention, redistricting and more. In December 2012, she founded Empower The Vote Texas (ETVT), a non-profit organization dedicated to voting rights and election reform issues. Prior to starting ETVT, Haltom served for seven years as the Political Director for the Texas Democratic Party where she built and led the TDP’s Voter Protection Program.
Lindsay Langholz, Ohio Voter Expansion Project Director
Langholz comes to the Voter Expansion Project with years of experience protecting and expanding the vote in both Ohio and Tennessee. Langholz will be responsible for educating voters and campaign staff on election law and working with election administrators to ensure they have the resources and training they need. Langholz is a graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School.
Bobby Hoffman, Deputy Director of Voter Expansion
A veteran of both Obama presidential campaigns, Hoffman joins the DNC after leadership roles in the voter expansion program in Virginia in 2012 and 2013. Hoffman will be responsible for growth and development of the in-state voter expansion programs. Hoffman is a graduate of Valparaiso University Law School.
Zara Haq, Director of Knowledge Management for Voter Expansion
Haq is a veteran of President Obama’s re-election campaign where she worked in the Chicago headquarters and later in Virginia. Haq will be responsible for making permanent the DNC’s know-how and tools necessary to build and sustain the DNC’s in-state voter expansion programs. Haq is a graduate of American University Law School.
DNC announces Florida
hire for Voter Expansion Project
July 17, 2014
DNC Press Office
Colorado Democratic Party: Jennifer Koch
Democratic National Committee, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Colorado Democratic Party Announce Voter Expansion Director in Colorado
Washington - Today the DNC, DSCC and the Colorado Democratic Party announced the hiring of Mike Weissman as Colorado Voter Expansion Project State Director.
Weissman joins a growing roster of Voter Expansion Project staff in key states as part of the DNC's ongoing commitment to increasing access to electoral participation.
“As Colorado Republicans try to limit our access to the polls, Democrats are fighting to expand the vote and increase access,” said DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. “Our team is building a professional and permanent, in-house operation that will remain in place from cycle to cycle for Democratic candidates up and down the ballot. We are happy to welcome Mike to the operation.”
"Last year, the Colorado General Assembly approved the broadest modernization of our election laws in many years," said Rick Palacio, chair of the Colorado Democratic Party. "A bipartisan group of county clerks - Colorado's election administrators - supported these changes. In 2014 it will be easier for Coloradans to register to vote and to cast a ballot than ever before."
Weissman is a graduate of the University of Colorado law school and a member of the Colorado bar. He has worked and volunteered in Colorado Democratic politics since 2004 including six years as Technology Director and Political Director for the Colorado Democratic Party.
"Colorado has some of the most pro-voter election laws in the country, and I look forward to helping make sure that Coloradans can exercise their rights under these laws this November," said Weissman.
July 31, 2014
DNC Press Office
Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Party of Wisconsin Announce Voter Expansion Director in WisconsinWashington, DC—Today the DNC and the Democratic Party of Wisconsin announced the hiring of Lillian Cheesman as the Wisconsin Voter Expansion Project State Director. Cheesman joins a growing roster of Voter Expansion Project staff in key states as part of the DNC's ongoing commitment to increasing access to electoral participation.
“While Governor Walker and Republicans in Wisconsin continue to place unnecessary barriers between voters and the ballot box, Democrats are committed to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to exercise their right to vote,” said DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. “As our voter expansion operation continues to grow, so does our ability to involve more Americans in the election process and help Democrats up and down the ballot win in November. We are happy to welcome Lillian to our team.”
"We know there are more Democrats than Republicans in Wisconsin, and the difference between four more years of Scott Walker's failed policies or a new direction with Mary Burke comes down to turning out as many of those votes as we can on Election Day,” said Mike Tate, Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “We're excited to have Lillian on our team to lead our voter expansion efforts and to protect access to the ballot in the face of Scott Walker's unprincipled attacks on the voting rights of veterans, seniors, and students."
Cheesman is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School and a member of the Wisconsin Bar. She currently serves as a Milwaukee County Election Commissioner. She is also a Statutory Committee Chair for the Milwaukee County Democratic Party and was a Voter Protection Team Volunteer for Organizing for America.
September 15, 2014
National Committee and the Iowa Democratic Party Announce Voter
Expansion Staff in Iowa
Washington, DC—Today the Democratic National Committee and the Iowa Democratic Party announced the hiring of Chris Poynor as the Iowa Voter Expansion Director. He will join Andrew Mertens, the Voter Expansion Coordinator, as part of the voter expansion team in Iowa. Poynor’s hire joins a growing roster of Voter Expansion Project staff in key states as part of the DNC's ongoing commitment to increase access to electoral participation.
“Republicans in Iowa, like Secretary of State Matt Schultz, are putting unnecessary barriers between voters and the ballot box and Schultz even spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars searching for fraud that wasn’t there,” said DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. “The Democrats’ voter expansion project will continue to knock down these types of barriers and expand access to the polls. Chris will be an important part of our work in Iowa and we’re happy to have him on our team.”
“This notion of getting more people involved in the process isn’t just a program for us or a tactic – it is one of the most fundamental values that we share as Democrats, but more importantly, as Iowans,” said Iowa Democratic Party Chair Scott Brennan. “It’s not just about strengthening our Party, it’s about strengthening our state because more voices are being heard. Democrats are committed to expanding rights, not taking them away – we want to empower people, to break down barriers and to expand opportunity for all Iowans.”
most recently practiced election law at his firm Poynor Law, PLC.
Previously he worked as the Deputy Voter Protection Director for
Organizing for America – Iowa, as a Law Clerk at Eide & Heisinger,
LLC, and as a researcher at Link Strategies, LLC. He earned his JD from
Drake University in Des Moines.