Utilize these tips to plan effective and well-organized voter registration drives in your community!
- SET YOUR GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Set achievable, concrete goals to inspire volunteers and serve as a guide for evaluation. Identify:
- Your timeframe and target number of events/new registrants
- Sites/venues that will reach the most unregistered/first time voters
- Potential partners
- Your key team members
- Possible online registration options (like VOTE411.org)
- SELECT VENUES TO REACH THE MOST POTENTIAL NEW VOTERS
- Transit hubs
- Schools (high schools, community colleges, technical schools, vocational/alternative schools)
- Naturalization ceremonies
- Community/sporting events
- Anywhere frequented by recent movers
- National Voter Registration Day (nationwide) 9/27/16
- KNOW THE LAW AND TAKE TIME TO TRAIN
Make sure your entire volunteer force is familiar with the federal, state and local laws that govern voter registration in your community. Voter registration practices differ from place to place. For more information, contact your local elections official or check out the Fair Elections Legal Network's state-specific resources here: http://fairelectionsnetwork.com/resources. Contact LWVUS if you believe that state or local registration practices violate citizens’ voting rights or threaten the League’s ability to register voters. Be sure to keep registration drives nonpartisan, and take the time to practice your registration “pitch” with volunteers!
- PLAN AHEAD
Assign a volunteer or event leader to bring the following items to your event:
- Voter registration forms & collection envelope, or if applicable in your state, equipment to offer online voter registration (you can use VOTE411.org)
- Volunteer name tags
- League banner or other signage, including “REGISTER TO VOTE HERE” sign
- Pencils and pens, flyers/posters
- Information on/applications for absentee voting (visit www.VOTE411.org for help)
- Your League's voters’ guide or other voting-related materials
- Sign-up sheets or pledge cards for voters to keep in touch with the League
- “At-a-glance” state/county information including election dates and registration rules
- Use the media and social media – op-eds, articles, your League’s Facebook and Twitter pages – to promote voter registration and share photos of your events
- Promote registration deadlines and requirements
- Publicize your voter registration drives, including the sites and times where voter registration will take place
- After your event, publish the results and THANK volunteers!
- MAKE FRIENDS
- Coordinate your effort with other organizations planning voter registration drives as well as those who will best help you reach your target audience.
- Good partners include: school groups/PTAs, student groups/government, groups that work with communities of color and new citizens, direct service providers (WIC, community health center, etc.), other groups doing National Voter Registration Day events, and more.
- Touch base with local elections officials to let them know your plans, pick up blank forms, and attend any offered trainings.
- FOLLOW UP
Keep track of the names, addresses and telephone numbers of everyone you register by creating a spreadsheet or by photocopying registration cards, where permissible by law. This information is key to following up with voters to provide helpful information about voting, and will also help your team maintain accurate records about your voter registration drives. Help get the new registrants out to vote by directing them to polling place or other critical election information (such as on www.VOTE411.org), alerting them of candidate debates and reminding them about Election Day. New voters should only be contacted about election information unless they have expressly signed up to receive other kinds of information from you (such as fundraising emails or action alerts).
Sign up as a National Voter Registration Day partner: www.nationalvoterregistrationday.org
Voter registration drive rules for every state: www.fairelectionsnetwork.com/resources