Young Dotte Voter Participation

Fewer Dottes are registering and voting and a new campaign hopes to reverse that trend, particularly with young voters ages 18-35. Research shows, encouraging nonvoters to vote is all about personal contact.   That’s why “Just Vote: Raise your voice!” uses small-group conversations facilitated by text While the Just Vote project is based in Wyandotte County, anyone can use the platform anywhere in the metro. It’s simple, free and available 24/7 in English and Spanish between now and July 15. Just text “KC Votes” to 89800, then follow the instructions.

In 2016, only 48% of people eligible to vote in Wyandotte County registered, and of those registered only 63% voted. That year, almost 9% fewer residents voted than in 2014, despite the fact that the county’s population had grown.

The National Institute for Civil Discourse developed the text-based platform that is the basis for Just Vote. Designed specifically to appeal to young adults, it asks open-ended, nonpartisan questions, such as, “Talk about a time when you felt like your voice counted in your school, your community or your government.” When used during the 2016 presidential elections, it produced a 20% jump in voting among participants who initially said they didn’t plan to vote.

The Just Vote project will hold four events this summer, inviting young adults 18-35 for free food and conversation. Each event is sponsored by a Livable Neighborhoods Neighborhood Business and Revitalization Organization (NBR). To register:

 The dates and locations are:

 June 20, Turner. 6-8 p.m. at Amigo’s, 2737 S. 47th Street. Sponsored by the Turner Community Connection NBR.

June 21, Rosedale. 6-8 p.m., Rosedale Community Room, 1401 Southwest Boulevard. Sponsored by Rosedale Development Association.

June 27, Argentine. 6-8 p.m., location TBA. Sponsored by Argentine Betterment Corporation.

July 12, Northeast. 4-6 p.m., New Bethel Church Haven Center, 735 Walker Ave.  Sponsored by Historic Northeast Midtown Association and the Community Health Council.

Consensus and Livable Neighborhoods launched the Just Vote project in Wyandotte County, with funding from the Kansas Health Foundation, messages to help young adults see themselves as people whose voice matters.

Want to encourage nonvoters to vote? Research shows, it’s all about personal contact. Just Vote: Raise your voice! uses small-group conversations facilitated by text to help young adults see themselves as people whose voice matters because fewer Dottes are registering and voting.

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