In honor of National Voter Registration Day on September 22nd, as proclaimed by President Obama, we compiled a quick guide to assist you with creating voter registration/education initiatives. Please click below to find Voter Registration resources and more info on National Voter Registration Day!
Voting Registration/Civic Education Initiative
Goals of the Initiative
The Voter Registration/Civic Education Initiative is a series of voter registration and civic engagement events. This can include local neighborhood door-to-door canvasses and strategically placed voter registration tables at high human traffic areas and/or larger community events with voter registration theme (panels, workshops, street fairs and block parties). The overall goal of the project is to begin the process of expanding the electorate in traditionally low-voting areas. The project will target primarily urban/suburban areas with a large population of Black and Latino citizens. In order to make a significant increase in voting with this demographic the Initiative must make continuous actions over many months. Ideally, we will increase awareness in these communities in time for the upcoming elections. Participants will be educated on who is eligible to vote, how to become an eligible voter, the rights of each voter inside and outside polling locations, and participate in a discussion on how to protect those rights. There will also be information provided to all levels of elected officials (community boards, school boards, district leaders). Additionally, the Initiative can also be used as an organizing tool for citizens who want to form their own political groups.
Individuals or groups who decide to participate should try to partner with other voting/civil rights organizations, community outreach groups, local boards of election, and elected officials. Recently, President Obama proclaimed September 22, 2015 as National Voter Registration Day. We could use the weekend prior to Tuesday the 22nd as the perfect opportunity to launch this voter registration project. The weekend could consist of voter registration and informational tables/programs/panels focused on expanding the vote in as many counties in New York State as possible.
Logistics for Large Community Event
Secure venues in which we will use to host events/programs. The venues could be a community center, church, school, or local political club. The location should be easily accessible to large amounts of foot traffic. Ideally, the space will have room for several tables as well as a breakout room where we can host discussions. The venue should have Internet or Wi-fi capability. There should be laptops or computers on-site in order to check the statewide voter databases. In the room where speeches or panel discussions are given there should be a multi-box for the media and reporters who wish to broadcast from the venue. This device is a multi-plugged outlet usually on the floor in the corner of a media-friendly room. Prior to the event determine how many volunteers you will need and how many voters you hope to register. You may also want to partner with local businesses and organizations. Offer all partners the opportunity to hand out their literature. Check out your local Board of Elections and/or Secretary of State to become familiar with voter registration guidelines. You can secure several boxes of New York Voter Registration Forms as well as any information that the local boards of election would like to disseminate. For additional assistance with putting together an event you can go to the National Voter Registration Day website, http://nationalvoterregistrationday.org
Participants and Guest
During this event participants will be able register or re-register (if necessary) to vote. They will be able to learn their current voting status and possible polling location. Participants will be educated on their rights as a voter and learn who is eligible to vote. We will also inform local citizens about what the NYDLC does to protect their right to vote and how they can help as well. Hopefully, with a massive public relations/media push you will be able to attract elected officials, political leaders, and celebrities to potentially speak at and participate in the event.
The NYDLC (our organization)
New York Democratic Lawyers Council
We are a coalition of lawyers and others dedicated to fostering universal participation and trust in the electoral process by ensuring that: all eligible persons can register to vote easily; all registered voters are able to vote simply, fairly, and without intimidation; all votes are counted; and all voting systems are open and reliable. For more information on the NYDLC as organization please go to the following website. http://www.nydlc.org/live/signup.php
Minority Voting Rights Committee 2014 Mission Statement
The MVRC is one of the sub-committees of the NYDLC. The overall goals of the Committee include:
- Developing and advocating for voter legislation that protects and enhances the voting rights of all citizens, especially individuals from underserved/underrepresented communities.
- Increasing the diversity of our NYDLC membership—both attorneys and non-attorney alike—as well as diversity of the volunteer base that we will recruit and deploy to participate in our voter protection program during the upcoming elections.
- Working to educate individuals, community groups, and civic-minded organizations on election/voting rights and empowering them to inform others in their networks.
- Increase voter turnout in the upcoming midterm election in all the areas where the NYDLC will be responsible for voter protection. Focusing specifically on women, minorities, youths and the elderly.