Nonprofits’ civic assets match up well with established voter turnout factors, making them natural and effective vehicles to promote voter participation.
Providing a Reason to Vote
Voters turn out in greater numbers when something is at stake. A nonprofit’s call to vote in the upcoming election says to their communities the election is important to its issue and mission. Distributing sample ballots or alerting members of a candidate forum takes this further.
Making Personal Contact
People vote when they discuss the election with family, friends or someone they trust. Nonprofits and other civic entities have daily contact with millions of Americans – many of whom may not get contacted by a campaign or discuss politics at home.
Lowering the Costs of Voting
The information or logistical costs of voting make a difference for many, especially new voters and those with the least resources. Nonprofits can help their constituents navigate the voting process, check their registration status, find their polling location, and remember to vote on Election Day!
Addressing Barriers & Supporting Fair Elections
Various outmoded voting practices in all 50 states continue to disenfranchise hundreds and thousands of interested and eligible voters. Nonprofit communities can speak up against election practices that make it harder for voters to participate and that narrow our choices on the ballot. Urge your community to volunteers as poll workers and let people where to call for help on Election Day. Your organization can also support Election Day registration, nonpartisan redistricting, and other movements that raise election standards and encourage competitive elections.
Encouraging Other Kinds of Civic Engagement
- Any form of civic engagement creates a more likely voter. Throughout the year nonprofits can promote civic engagement activities that signal to their members their issue concerns and interest in government. Activities work both because they might encourage voting and civic engagement and also provide opportunities for people to get involved with the civic activities and in other efforts to improve their community.