You may have seen the numbers in an issue of The Community Voice – we’re registering people to vote, but we’re still not getting them to the polls. All sorts of techniques are being used across the country to engage non- or infrequent voters, especially in midterm elections like this one, where voter participation is often dismal.
Voter-to-Voter Get Out the Vote Training
When: Wed., Oct. 24, 6 – 7 p.m.
Where: McAdams Recreation Center, 1329 E. 16th St., Wichita
What Else: You know how important voting is, get the tools to share your passion and get others to vote.
Well, here’s another idea for getting out the vote, it uses relational advocacy – or peer-to-peer advocacy versus blanket outreach with generic messages. Leading up to the August primary, Mainstream Coalition, a political advocacy agency based in Johnson County, piloted a get out the vote effort based on this concept. Their results were excitingly successful.
Based on their success, a group of engaged voters have decided to expand use of the Voter-to-Voter program into Sedgwick County, and Mainstream has agreed to share the program’s techniques and tools with us and a brief training session for anyone interested in making a difference in their community by increasing voter participation. They’ll give you tips and ideas, sample messages and important dates and you’re in charge of getting in touch with those people, since you know them best.
Our goal is to get each Voter-to-Voter ambassador to agree to personally reach out to 10 people.
Here are some numbers to digest:
Turnout in Kansas for the primaries was 27.1%
Turnout in Johnson County was 30%
Turnout for our 2,500 voters contacted through Voter-to-Voter was 60%
But that’s not the best part. Here’s the best part. Using the public voting record, Mainstream looked at the group of 2,500 and knew how many of them typically vote in primaries, how many usually vote in municipal elections, and so on. They split the group up into three: regular voters, infrequent voters, and people who hardly ever vote.
The regular voters, they voted at almost a 90% turnout rate. That’s great, we love regular voters.
The infrequent voters, they voted at 47%.
But the non-voters, they voted at 41%!
This is a non-partisan effort. It’s also a program where everyone’s privacy is respected. Because you’re the one getting in touch with your voters, you don’t have to share the contact information for any of the people you’re contacting. However, Mainstream does use public voter records available from the Secretary of State, but that’s what the campaigns do, too. The difference is, they’re giving the tools to you – the Voter-to-Voter ambassadors.
Come Learn More
With just two-weeks to the election, this is a short term commitment that should yield big results. IF you want to be a part of this positive change, plan on attending the one-hour training session.
What we know is voting is habitual. Once you start voting, you develop a habit of it. Our goal is to get these non-voters on their way to the habit of voting.