Friday, October 29, 2010

Why People Vote

What’s the difference between a voter and a non-voter? Not much, actually. There are four main reasons people vote:

1. Personal contact from someone they know. Encouragement and reminders go a long way.
2. Repeat messages. The more you hear it, the more you internalize it.
3. They have a reason to vote. When they have something at stake, voters are more likely to make it to the polls. And in this election, who doesn’t?
4. It’s easy to do. If a voter has the ability to vote early (in person or by mail) or can get to their polling location on Election Day, then they are more likely to vote.

Pretty simple stuff, right? So how does your nonprofit turn your clients and community members into voters? Earlier this week, we created a list of 5 Things Your Nonprofit Can Do to Get Out the Vote, but in case that's not enough here are some other suggestions:
  • Talk to you friends, your family, your colleagues, and your community about voting. You can send text messages or make phone calls. It’s also easy to incorporate discussions about the election into everyday interactions with clients and constituents.
  • Turn up the volume. The election should be visible to everyone who visits your nonprofit. Make announcements and include reminders in emails to staff and your supporters.
  • Create urgency by reminding people of what is at stake this November: the future of your nonprofit, your community, things like social services and benefits, and more.
  • Make voters feel comfortable with the process. Ask if they need help and make resources like sample ballots and nonpartisan voter guides available.
For more ideas, visit our website,

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