As our only married couple on staff, Amber and Alan Estep have registered 436 voters together! Alan first heard about the job at his Clean and Sober program and applied right away. When Tere Flores, ACT Voter Integration Lead, said she was still seeking staff, he told Amber about the opportunity. She contacted Tere right away and wanted to start that afternoon.
Both Amber and Alan note the importance of confidence and a positive attitude for voter registration work. Sometimes people are suspicious when you are going door to door in underrepresented neighborhoods, but Alan finds people to be very receptive overall once they know why you are there. Amber says, “I put a smile on my face, stay grounded and positive, and reach out to every person I encounter.”
Amber and Alan’s enthusiasm for their work has made them very successful. Alan takes pride in educating potential voters about their right to vote. He has had many people tell him that they can’t vote because they are on probation or have “2 strikes.” He tells them, “If you are off parole, you can vote.” Others ask him if it is free to register, or if there is a charge: “It’s a right, you don’t have to pay.” Alan also enjoys meeting young voters who can vote in their first election and educating them on the process and the opportunity. He remembers being young and feeling like his vote didn’t matter. He reminds young voters that each vote counts, and some races are determined by the smallest margin. When voters describe their frustration with the presidential race, Alan reminds them that there are many other races on the ballot including important propositions. “Start with something smaller,” he tells them.
Amber is a champion of homeless voters. She says she attracts a lot of homeless people when she is out registering because she has experienced homelessness herself. “I’ve been there. People want to know how I got here from where I was. I tell them you make one conscious right decision for yourself or your community. Voting could be your first righteous act.” For Amber, voter registration has been her first long term job and she loves it. “I love getting out there and making a difference. This job has helped me find my voice in this world.”