In 2012 we’ll elect the president, 33 U.S. senators, every member of the House of Representatives, and countless others in state and local races. 220 million Americans will be eligible to vote–including over 25 million young people and new citizens eligible for the first time. But who will turnout?
Voter turnout will be the key, not just to who wins, but to what voters and which communities are heard after Election Day. In 2010, six of ten eligible voters stayed home, and a disproportionate number were younger and lower income individuals.
Nonprofits can change that. Our sector is a powerful civic force whose status as trusted messengers and daily contact with millions of Americans has the potential to reach and engage large underrepresented populations. We are more than one million nonprofits strong and with your help the sector can close participation gaps and encourage everyone to become a voter in 2012.
So when your organization sets its 2012 priorities, make sure that voter engagement is one of them. Although your nonprofit might struggle with shrinking budgets and increased demand for services, you must still resolve to voterize your organization. Whatever challenges your nonprofit faces, voting is part of the solution. Start planning today.
Voter engagement can take a variety of forms: you can register voters, educate your clients and constituents about the voting process, or take a stand on a ballot measure. Voter engagement doesn’t have to be complicated. But you have to do something.
In 2012, we will leave no nonprofit and no voter behind. Let’s give nonprofits and our communities a seat at the table of democracy this November and beyond.