Getting out the vote matters especially with voters in under represented communities of color in key states. Which areas, demographic groups and issues should be focussed on? How can outreach be improved with technology enabled volunteers?
Minority voter turnout during COVID-19
“Turnout among African Americans could be a critical factor in deciding this year’s presidential election, too—and the COVID-19 crisis may have an effect on it. Blacks are being infected and dying from the coronavirus at significantly higher rates than the general population—and it is happening in those very cities where black turnout was notably lower in 2016.” – The Bulwark
“Latinos are expected for the first time to be the nation’s largest racial or ethnic minority in a U.S. presidential election, with a record 32 million projected to be eligible to vote. They will account for 13.3% of all eligible voters.” – Pew Research
Increasing voter turnout amongst the underrepresented
Reclaim Our Vote increases turnout amongst voters of color through volunteer powered postcard writing, phone/text banks, geofencing, GOTV billboards, rides to the polls and election monitoring. They use mapping, chatbots and affordable texting tools to extend their budget.
Use geo-targeting to focus your campaign efforts
Reclaim Our Vote collected details on colleges and universities along with information on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Details of congressional districts where the colleges are located along with the congressperson and their party affiliation was mapped by DemLabs using ArcGIS. ROV created a digital story for volunteers, partners and donors which includes data, images, videos and maps using StoryMaps, a free app. This interactive map which can be used and freely shared with this link.
Black Voters Matter and Mi Familia Vota
Reclaim Our Vote works with partners to reach more under-represented voters including:
Black Voters Matter – Advocates for policies to expand voting rights/access, including expanded early voting, resisting voter ID, re-entry restoration of rights and strengthening the Voting Rights Act. It also advocates for policies that intersect with race, gender, economic and other aspects of equity.
Mi Familia Vota – a national civic engagement organization that unites Latino, immigrant, and allied communities to promote social and economic justice through citizenship workshops, voter registration, and voter participation. Mi Familia Vota has operations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Texas.
Vote Riders – a non-partisan, non-profit organization founded in 2012 with a mission to ensure that all citizens are able to exercise their right to vote. VoteRiders informs and helps citizens to secure their voter ID as well as inspires and supports organizations, local volunteers, and communities to sustain voter ID education and assistance efforts.
Culturally appropriate storytelling to engage voters
Mi Familia Vota works to ensure increased access to the electoral process for Latino voters and to allow them to exercise their right to vote free of intimidation by educating them on their rights as granted by the Voting Rights Act and conducting Election Day monitoring to help solve any issues at the polls. Here is part of a recent video they released to resonates with Latinos and encourages them to vote.
Takeaway: Focus on under-represented voters
Voter suppression reduces minority voter turnout. Reclaim Our Vote shows how to increase voter participation on a slim budget with technology-enabled volunteers and culturally appropriate messaging.
Posted with permission from The Democracy Labs
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