Nonprofits may conduct a broad range of voter education activities as long as they are nonpartisan and do not to support or oppose a candidate. There are two basic types of voter education: the when, where, and how of voting; and learning what’s on the ballot. This page features nonpartisan activities common to the nonprofit and civic sector.
On the When, Where, and How of Voting
Your nonprofit can help the people you serve and your staff with information not always available elsewhere on when and how to register and to vote.
- Use your communications, events, video displays, classes, or forums to:
- Announce the dates of elections and early voting period.
- Remind people of voter registration deadlines or how to register online.
- Help people get information on early voting or find their polling place.
- Partner with a high school or community college to provide voter education and registration.
- Make a short video with interviews from constituents and staff on why they think voting is important.
On What’s on the Ballot
Voters want to know in advance what’s on their ballot. Nonpartisan ways to provide this information include distributing nonpartisan voter guides from a trusted partner or sample ballots from your state election office.
You should be more careful if your activity involves candidates. This would include a candidate forum, candidate questionnaire, or a communication referencing the candidates running. Make sure to treat all candidates neutrally and equally. Follow the guidelines discussed on the candidate forums page and questionnaires and voter guides page in this guide.
- Display or give out a sample ballot.
- Provide a copy or link to a nonpartisan voter guide.
- Hold a mock election for young people ages 6 -17.
- Collaborate with others on a canddiate forum or a ballot measure campaign. Remember, nonprofits can take a position on ballot measures.
- 50 State Guide to Voting in Your State: Official information on registering and voting in your state.
- Candidate Engagement section of the Nonprofit VOTE Voter Engagement Library.
- Teaching for Democracy Alliance, Educational resources by ICivics, CIRCLE and partners.
- Ballotpedia, the Wikipedia of elections.