026: Six Ways You Can Help People Actually Vote
If the U.S. voting population was represented by 10 people. In 2016, 3 voted for Trump. 3 voted for Hillary. And 4 didn’t vote. So, the nonvoters won. They chose “I don’t care”. If you do care, and especially if you care about the environment and you’re willing to work for change, let’s talk about voting. And specifically, how we can help get out the vote for the November 6 election. Discover six ways you can help people actually vote.
Green Team Academy Podcast with Joan Gregerson
Time-stamped notes:[1:00] In Australia, voting is mandatory. Voter turnout over 90%. [1:15] If 10 people represented all of the US eligible voters, in 2016 presidential election, 3 voted for Hillary, 3 voted for Trump and 4 didn’t vote.
1:45] Midterm election turnout is historically around 40%.[2:00] Have you seen the video with Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda and Rashida Jones talking about the Last Weekend? What could I have done after November 2016 election? Now we have another chance. [2:30] In this episode, six research-based strategies for getting the vote out. [2:45] Why? To stop rollbacks of environmental protections and have a government that really represents the people. [3:15] That’s what increasing voter turnout is all about.
[3:30] 1. Believe you can make a difference.
Increasing voter turnout isn’t easy. Don’t worry that your efforts will go to waste. Simple steps can increase the number of voters, and they rely on person-to-person interactions.
[4:00] 2. Make sure that you’re ready to vote and that you have a plan
Rock the Vote: check your voter registration status, register to vote and find out more about ballots and polling places.
[4:20] 3. Set aside some time on the last weekend to volunteer.
Organizers say that you can have the most impact on the last few days. Look at your calendar right now. Set aside some time to get out there. Saturday November 3 – Tuesday November 6.
Easiest: Sign up with LastWeekend.org. You can help by canvassing (most effective), phone calls (great for reaching other areas), or help with writing, editing, social media or events. You choose.
[5:15] 4. Research and be a resource.
Voting isn’t necessarily easy or straightforward. Visit RocktheVote and look up your state to dig in to details about what documentation is needed, regulations for convicted felons, voter registration deadlines, what to do if you’ve recently moved and if you can register the day of the election (as you can in Colorado!).
[6:00] 5. Hold a house party.
Have a voter registration party or election watch party to help your friends be voters.
[6:30] 6. Have better conversations (five parts):
- Talk to people about voting.
- Tell them that voter turnout is expected to be high.
- Talk about what it means to them to “be a voter” (rather than just “voting”).
- Discuss their plans for voting.
- Hold them accountable.
Hey, I’m pretty excited about the November 6 election. There’s really a lot at stake this time and they’re expecting a high voter turnout. It’s really important to me to be a voter. How about you?
I got an email saying that my registration is up to date and I should get a ballot in the mail the 3rd week of October. I’m going to vote by mail. What’s your plan for voting?
I’ll message you after I vote. I’ll check back with you and see how it went for you, okay?
(Or, if you’re having a house party, invite them!)[10:00] Leave a tip on how to increase voter turnout at GreenTeamAcademy.com
Six Ways You Can Help People Actually Vote
- Believe you can make a difference.
- Make sure you’re ready to vote.
- Set aside some time on the last weekend to volunteer.
- Research and be a resource.
- Hold a house party.
- Have better conversations.
How America Can Benefit From Australia’s Compulsory Voting System (Huffington Post, March 2018)
5 ways the 2018 midterms could change American politics (Vox, January 2018)
The Last Weekend
The Last Weekend promo video with Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda and Rashida
Rock the Vote
Getting Out the Vote is Tougher than You Think (Stanford Social Innovation Review, March 2016)
Research-Backed Ways to Get Out the Vote (Stanford Graduate School of Business, April 2012)
Who Votes? Congressional Elections and the American Electorate: 1978–2014 (U.S. Census, July 2015)
2016 November General Election Turnout Rates (United States Elections Project, September 2018)
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The time for action is now because there is no Planet B!