Face-to-face voter engagement is the most effective method of bringing hard-to-reach and marginalized groups into the democratic process. However, to maintain social distancing in the short-term, nonprofits can encourage the communities they serve to register to vote online or by mail. All states allow voters to register by mail. 40 states, plus D.C., currently allow online voter registration (OVR). In most states, OVR will work only for people that have a driver’s license or a state ID. Others will still need paper forms. There are an array of online tools nonprofits can embed on their own sites or link to that can help individuals register to vote while adhering to social distancing. NOTE: North Carolina implemented online voter registration on March 30 — get details here.
Online Voter Registration Tools:
If all your work is in one state, your best strategy may be to send people directly to your State’s online voter registration portal. Visit Vote.gov to find your state’s OVR portal.
If you serve clients across multiple states, Rock the Vote, TurboVote, and Vote.org offer a national portal that captures basic information to send election reminders, then sends voters to the respective state to finish their application. Note there can be drop off since some people stop half-way and don’t complete the process on the state site. You can embed these tools into your website. Some tools can be customized with your own branding/logos.