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6 Steps for Community-Based Organizations to Make A Difference in the Midterm Elections

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shutterstock_fbA simple voter registration drive can make a big difference this November 4th! Helping your clients register to vote is easy, legal and can be integrated into daily operations. Your non-partisan involvement through voter registration is a critical step to engaging new or infrequent voters. Many community based organizations such as health centers, non-profits, schools, and civic organizations serve populations that are typically underrepresented in the political process. The community sees these organizations as trusted messengers that represent and amplify their voice. Better serve your clients by integrating voter registration into your operations this September!

6 easy steps to voter registration for community organizations:

1. Find out your state’s voter registration procedures and get the forms:
For most states the rules are as simple as printing the forms and sending them in on time. But a few states have extra rules so double check your state’s voter registration procedures. For many states voter registration forms are available online for download and printing. Find out procedures and download the voter registration form from your state’s Secretary of State office, local Registrar of Voters, or Board of Elections. Or use the National Mail Voter Registration Form, which can be downloaded in multiple languages and is accepted in most—but not all—states.

2. Offer the voter registration form to the clients:
When clients visit your organization give them the opportunity to fill out a voter registration form. It may seem easier to just have the forms available in the lobby, but asking each client if they want to fill it out and then handing them the form will provide much better results. You can incorporate this activity into daily processes such as sign-in or regular meetings.

3. Double check that important information is filled out:
Make sure that your clients check the boxes verifying that they are a United States citizen and are at least 18 years old. Check that they use their full residential address, including apartment number, not a post office box. Have them fill out their entire Social Security number if they can. The form requires at least the last four digits of the Social Security number be filled in.

4. Learn if your state has a voter ID law:
30 states require voters to present identification at the voting booth, and 15 states require picture ID. Find out your state’s voter ID laws. Then let clients know if they need to bring a form of ID with them on Election Day.

5. Offer to mail in their voter registration form:
Explain that clients are welcome to mail in their registration, but assure them that your organization is turning in many people’s cards and can make sure that theirs gets to the right place in time.

6. Submit the voter registration forms by your state’s deadline:
Mail or bring in the completed voter registration cards to your state’s Office of the Secretary of State or your local Registrar of Voters. Find out your state’s voter registration deadline. Most states require you to register to vote at least 30 days before the election.

For more information check out these great voter registration resources:

DoSomething.org: Conduct a Voter Registration Drive
Non-Profit Vote
Rock the Vote
National Voter Registration Day

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