NewDEAL Celebrates Voter Registration Month with 3-part Podcast Series

5 min readSep 19


September is National Voter Registration Month, meaning there’s no better time to help people register to vote and check their voter registration.

To celebrate, NewDEAL’s award-winning podcast, An Honorable Profession, released a three-part series highlighting national, state, and local leaders focused on strengthening our democracy, showcasing efforts to increase access to voting, as well as other ways to improve our elections amid attacks on our system. Check out highlights from our conversations with Hannah Fried, executive director of All Voting is Local, New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, and Jefferson County, Colorado, Clerk and Recorder Amanda Gonzalez. And listen and watch the full discussions here.


Kicking off the series, co-host Ryan Coonerty spoke with Hannah Fried, executive director of All Voting is Local, a multi-state nonpartisan nonprofit organization focused on exposing and dismantling threats to voter freedom, particularly at the local level.

Speaking about starting All Voting is Local, Fried noted that, “election officials are making decisions right now,” emphasizing that election policies and procedures are discussed, debated, and approved year-round. “If you really want to help voters — if you really want to make sure voters can register and cast their ballots and their votes are going to count and that results are going to be accepted — then you have to be there all the time. You cannot just come in during September of an election year.”

She also spoke about how things have changed over the last few years, including some positive developments.

“One thing that has really been positive about the last few years is that election officials — and state and local officials who have authority over elections in some way or another — are really leaning into the power that they have,” Fried said. She particularly highlighted the work of Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to implement a broad array of voting rights policies that Michiganders voted on recently.

Listen to the full episode to hear more about the work of All Voting is Local, as well as how Fried’s previous roles, including as Hillary Clinton’s National Voter Protection Director, influenced her decisions on how to best make an impact on voting rights issues.

You can find Hannah’s episode on YouTube or wherever you listen to podcasts.


Co-host and NewDEAL CEO Debbie Cox Bultan spoke with New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver about the challenges facing even the most committed election officials to preserve democracy in the face of both personal threats as well as misinformation campaigns seeking to undermine the nation’s democratic foundations.

“What we are experiencing in this country is a threat and a challenge to our very democracy,” Toulouse Oliver said, speaking about anti-democratic attacks on election officials in New Mexico and around the nation. “We are privileged to be in the position to protect it and try to steer it through this difficult time. And we’re very committed to that.”

Toulouse Oliver also highlighted new legislation passed in New Mexico to make elections more accessible. And some of the changes codified into law came about because the 2020 election was carried out during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We should be trying to make it as easy as possible for people to vote,” she said, summing up her views in a nutshell. “This is a no-brainer. This shouldn’t even be a political question or an issue.”

Listen to the full episode to hear more about Toulouse Oliver talking about her role as the president of the National Association Secretaries of State in 2020, and how her conversations with chief election officials of both parties changed throughout that year because of politics.

You can find Maggie’s episode on YouTube or wherever you listen to podcasts.


Finally, we spoke with Amanda Gonzalez, Jefferson County, Colorado, Clerk and Recorder, about her transition from working for nonpartisan voting rights groups to becoming an elected official in charge of voting issues.

“Voting rights are the foundation of all other rights,” said Gonzalez, the first Latina to hold her position. “I fundamentally believe that everyone who is eligible to vote should vote and have their ballot accurately counted, even if they see the world a little bit differently than I do.”

“You should feel welcome in government,” Gonzalez said about ways to bring more people into local government. “We are taking some very concrete steps to make sure we’re doing better.” She talked about an Advisory Committee that helps both push out accurate information as well as getting more feedback from all parts of the community. In addition, her office is hiring a Community Engagement Coordinator that is out in the community full-time to help understand where there can be improvements.

Check out the full episode to hear Gonzalez’s excitement about redistricting reform and other democracy-related issues from a local perspective.

You can find Amanda’s episode on YouTube or wherever you listen to podcasts.

The series on voter registration is part of NewDEAL’s commitment to strengthening and protecting democracy. Earlier in 2023, the NewDEAL Forum released its Democracy Playbook, a policy document containing more than 40 specific action steps that officials should take ahead of the 2024 presidential election. The Playbook highlights the vital role state and local officials play in our elections, including where, how, and when Americans can vote.

The Playbook came about from the NewDEAL Forum’s Democracy Working Group after nine months of meetings and conversations between elected officials and outside experts focused on maintaining free, fair, and safe elections. The Democracy Working Group is co-chaired by Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (Michigan), Secretary of State Adrian Fontes (Arizona), County Commissioner Ken Lawrence (Montgomery County, PA) and Assembly Majority Floor Leader Sandra Jauregui (Las Vegas Valley, NV).

If you are interested in registering to vote, or checking to make sure you are registered at your current address, you can visit websites such as or

An Honorable Profession is available on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, or anywhere podcasts are found.




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