Our democracy will be stronger and healthier when more people vote. Even during the pandemic, we can all play a role in ensuring that everyone who is eligible to vote registers to do so. While some opportunities to register to vote in person are no longer an option this year, there are many creative new ways available to help ensure that your friends, family, and others in your community are registered to vote.
Get the tools you need
You can direct people to TurboVote to make sure they not only register to vote, but request a mail-in ballot and sign up for important election reminders—. it’s a one-stop shop for getting involved in the election!
You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the deadlines and rules for your state (or the state where your friends and family are located). Campus Vote Project has state-by-state information on registration deadlines and ID requirements. If students have questions about where they can register or vote this year, you can use these 2020 Voter Registration Scenarios to walk them through the process.
If you’re conducting a voter registration drive as part of an organization, you can read up on the state-by-state rules for registration drives.
Practice your pitch
Research shows that people are more likely to engage around elections when they are personally contacted by someone they know. Talking to your friends and family about registering to vote can make a big difference. Make it personal, but try to keep partisan politics out of it. Emphasize that voting is one of the foundational tools to fighting for the issues you care about. Here is a sample voter registration script, including common responses to people who aren’t sure about registering.
Not sure who to reach out to? Map your network to come up with an outreach plan.
You can also use this guide on intentional voter engagement messaging while addressing systemic racism to learn about how to talk about voting as a necessary but insufficient tool to solve the tough problems we need to tackle within our society.
Organize a voter registration couch party: When We All Vote has successfully registered thousands of voters during their “couch parties,” and have a checklist for how you can organize your own.
Party at the Mailbox: Baltimore Votes and Black Girls Vote partnered to send party boxes to households to help them make voting by mail feel like a fun community event. Instead of t-shirts and snacks, you could send stickers and a personalized note to your friends and family, along with the forms needed to register and request a mail-in ballot (some stamps would help too). You could do an all-virtual version by sending an email that includes a video from you about why it matters that people are registered to vote, along with a fun playlist people can listen to while they fill out the forms online.
Recruit a voter registration squad: It’s always more fun to do this with friends! Recruit a couple of friends who are also committed to registering and turning out their networks to vote. When We All Vote has a voter registration toolkit with steps and best practices you can follow.
Use social media for good: Rock the Vote’s toolkit includes ideas for how you can use social media platforms in creative ways to register and turn out the vote.
Spread the word
Need some of your own template language for social media or texting to friends? We’ve got you covered:
- Don’t miss an important election deadline—you can sign up online for important election reminders, check your registration, and request your vote by mail ballot. #ScienceRising https://sciencerising.turbovote.org/
- STEM students: are you ready for the general election? Register to vote, request your vote by mail ballot, and sign up for important voting updates here: https://sciencerising.turbovote.org/ #ScienceRising
- #ScienceRising makes it easy and safe to register to vote, request your vote by mail ballot, and sign up for important voting updates—and it takes only minutes. https://sciencerising.turbovote.org/
- Are you registered to vote? Are you sure? Check your registration, and sign up for important voting updates with #ScienceRising: https://sciencerising.org/challenge/register-to-vote/
Don’t forget to remind your friends and family to VOTE once they’ve registered!
After you’ve helped people register to vote, your work isn’t done! Most importantly, it’s crucial that you remind them to request a vote by mail ballot and send it back in by the deadline, or make a plan to vote in person if it is safe for them to do so. Here are some tips to help with your Get Out the Vote efforts.