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Quick tips to get the word out about voting to your community

Helping people to vote is a powerful way nonprofits “stand up” — what we call Voting with Your Mission. There is no perfect way to engage voters. The key is to find a few ways that fit your organization and build onto your existing activities rather than adding new things to do. Nonprofit staff are busy, and the tips below won’t take a lot of time or expense, instead, they’re designed to be included in the work you’re already doing. 

You can download a 2-page handout version of these tips here: 12 Quick Tips to Help People Vote

Watch this August 2020 webinar with California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, on changes to the current election and new tools for nonprofits to engage. Plus – nonprofit leaders share their own strategies for engaging their communities: "Election Updates and Tips from Election Officials and Nonprofits".

Where and how should we share voting information?

By helping people vote, you increase the trust they already have in your organization and staff.

1) "I work (or volunteer) at a nonprofit and I vote" stickers are an excellent (and fun!) way to get the word out about the importance of voting. Want your own stickers? Click on this link, and use our template to print out your own set of stickers today.  You can print them on the Avery 22830 label template.

2) Add registration materials to your ongoing activities
so it doesn't take time or expense. Examples: pass them out at the registration window or table, in the lobby where people are social distancing, send home flyers with children in your program, or include them on the trays for delivered and group free meals.

At your next virtual community or staff meeting: Take 5 minutes at your next meeting to talk about what Voting with Your Mission means to you and your organization, and to give people information about how to register and what’s going to be on the ballot. Remind your colleagues they have up to two hours of paid time to go vote on election day.

Vote With Your Mission poster4) At community events where you're tabling or presenting: Does your organization have plans to be at a community event? You can include information at your table about when, where, and how to vote in your area, and how to register. Reminder: Nonprofits are nonpartisan- meaning we don’t endorse specific candidates or political parties. Make sure your staff and volunteers know the rules if they’re going to be talking to people. Here's a quick summary: Frequently Asked Legal Questions.

5) Share about voting or voter registration, for example, share a link to the California voting website where people can check their voting status, register, and find
information about what's on their ballot. Post the image to the right on your webpage. 

6) Let people know they can track their mail-in ballot. A new tool from the Secretary of State allows you to track your ballot: Where's My Ballot?

Online: You’ve already got the audience – now you just need to share the resources with them!

1) Social media: Does your organization have a Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter page? Use your platforms to promote civic engagement by sharing voting information. If you tag your tweets with #VoteWithYourMission, we’ll be sure to retweet it and amplify your message.

2) In your next newsletter: Do you send out a weekly or monthly newsletter to your supporters? Let them know how your organization is “Voting with Your Mission” and share resources to help get people engaged. If your nonprofit has taken a position on ballot measures, encourage voters to vote with you on it by explaining your reasons for how such a position is aligned with your mission and goals.

Bonus: You can use Vote with Your Mission logos to liven up your posts. They’re available in English, SpanishChinese and Vietnamese.

Unique voting resources to share with your community

1) Voter’s Edge: This nonpartisan website is sponsored by the League of Women Voters of California and MapLight. Using this great tool, voters can see what their ballot will look like, and see information on ballot measures, when, where and how to vote in your area, and you can read where candidates stand on the issues, as well as where the money for their campaigns comes from.

2) Many people mistakenly think that a criminal conviction means they can’t vote, which isn’t necessarily true. This website, sponsored by the ACLU of Northern California, clearly outlines when a criminal conviction affects your ability to vote.  

Pictures are of attendees at CalNonprofits’ 2018 Policy Convention:
“Nonprofits Standing up for California"

VWYM Photo Collage

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