Interested in planning a nonpartisan voter registration drive?
The League of Women Voters has some expert tips!
Befriend Local Experts
- Coordinate with organizations already doing voter registration in your community, such as your local League of Women Voters!
- Touch base with local elections officials to let them know your plans, pick up blank forms, and attend any offered trainings.
Pick the Right Venue
- Aim to reach lots of people, especially those who might not already be registered to vote.
- Great locations include:
- Transit hubs/neighborhood gathering places
- Schools (high schools, community colleges, technical schools, vocational/alternative schools)
- Community/sporting events
- Places frequented by recent movers
Know the Law and Take Time to Train
- Voter registration rules differ from place to place, so make sure your volunteers are familiar with the federal and state laws that govern voter registration in your community. For more information, contact your local League of Women Voters, elections official or check out http://fairelectionsnetwork.com/resources.
- Be sure to keep registration drives nonpartisan, and take the time to practice your registration “pitch” with volunteers.
Positive and enthusiastic is the way to win over potential new voters.
Assign a volunteer or event leader to bring the following items to your event:
- Voter registration forms, clipboards, and collection envelope
- If applicable in your state, equipment to offer online voter registration (you can use VOTE411.org)
- Banner and signs, including “REGISTER TO VOTE HERE” sign
- Pencils and pens
- Information on/applications for absentee voting & other voting details for your state (visit VOTE411.org for help)
- Sign-up sheets or pledge cards for voters to keep in touch with your group
- Extra forms for newly registered voters to share with their friends and family
- Reach out to your social networks and local media to let them know when and where you’ll be registering voters.
- If you’re able to reach out to potential registrants (such as at a school) ahead of time, alert them to any identification info required on your state’s voter registration form (such as a driver’s license number or social security number)
- After your event, report the results to your networks and local media, and THANK your volunteers!
At the Event
- Work the crowd.
Make personal contact by walking up to potential registrants and asking if they need to register or update their registration if they’ve moved.
- Have a clear plan for how you’ll collect and return completed registration applications to the required elections official, being sure to follow any state requirements. Again, the best way to do this can be to team up with an experienced group like your local League of Women Voters.
- Have enough volunteers. While one person talks, others can assist individuals, collect forms, and help echo important messages!
- Quickly check all forms for completion. In particular, check to see that registrants have:
- Checked the box affirming they are over 18 (unless pre-registering).
- Checked the box affirming they are a US citizen.
- Provided any required identification number, usually their driver’s license number or some or all digits of their social security number.
- Signed and dated the form.
- Follow any and all rules regarding voter registration drives in your state.
- Keep track of the names, addresses and telephone numbers of everyone you register by creating a spreadsheet or by photocopying registration cards, where permissible by law. You can also ask them to fill out a sign-up sheet or pledge card to receive election reminders from you.
- This information is key to following up with voters to provide helpful information about voting, and will also help your team maintain accurate records about your voter registration drives.
- Closer to election day, help get the new registrants out to vote by directing them to polling place or other critical election information (such as on VOTE411.org)