Engaging New Voters is our flagship field program for reaching underserved voters in select states across the country. We support state-based “anchors,” such as state nonprofit associations and civic engagement initiatives, who in turn recruit and support nonprofits in their state to do on-the-ground voter engagement work with the communities they serve. The sites are primarily human service nonprofits such as community health centers, food pantries, housing coalitions, and mutual aid associations. In 2020, we are working with 170 sites with the help of seven anchors across seven participating states.
How it Works
We identify nonprofit anchors that have the capacity to run a tracked voter engagement program, existing relationships with nonprofits in their state, and a reputation for nonpartisanship and provide them with funding, technical assistance, and materials to run a program with 10-30 participating nonprofit sites. Each site receives training and regular check-ins as they engage the communities they serve. If a client is already registered to vote, they are asked to sign a pledge-to-vote card or absentee mail-in ballot request form. Many sites in the program have never conducted voter engagement activities prior to joining the program.
Participating sites build their capacity for voter engagement and shift their culture to embrace voting and democracy as part of their missions. Tracked voter contacts and analysis prove that sites reach typically underserved voters and have a positive impact on those voters’ turnout. Results from the 2018 program, outlined in the Engaging New Voters report, show that the lowest propensity voters had the largest turnout advantage.
Watch video from our partners Manna Foodbank showing how they marry nonpartisan voter engagement into their mission.