Voting for the First Time: Meet Denise Thorne and Catherine Smith

“I always thought that my vote didn’t count,” says Catherine Smith, ACT phone banker. “All my life I’ve been told that my vote is not going to matter, that they already have it figured out who and what is going to win,” adds Denise Thorne.  “Through this work I’ve learned that your vote does count.”  Both Catherine and Denise are excited to vote for the first time in their lives.

Denise started with ACT this summer doing voter registration and continued with our phone banking team.  She found the job after she herself registered to vote with Amber Estep, a member of our voter registration team.  When Denise asked about the job, Amber connected her with Tere Flores, ACT Civic Engagement Lead.  Two days later, Denise interviewed for the job.  Denise was proud to let people with a felony record know that they could register to vote as long as they had completed their parole.  She remembers that sometimes she would have to show them written proof that they were eligible to vote in order to convince them, and the pride they had in gaining the right to vote.

Catherine joined the ACT voter outreach team at the beginning of the phone bank.  She heard of the job through her Clean and Sober program, and was happy to join the phone banking team.  Having recently successfully completed the Drug Court program, Catherine welcomes the opportunity to work as a second chance.  Denise returned to the workforce with this job after a period of unemployment.  Both Denise and Catherine enjoy their work with the phone banking team and the challenge of learning new skills and speaking with a wide variety of personalities over the phone, even the challenging ones.