After our webinar last week on municipal and local elections, we wanted to follow up and make sure your nonprofit was excited and prepared for this fall. If your community is having a municipal election this year there are plenty of ways to get involved and get out the vote.

Want to host a candidate forum? We have a guide for that. Candidate forums are a great way for your community to question candidates directly, particularly because local elections are more intimate than statewide or national races. (And many candidates see local office as a gateway to higher office, so building relationships now can pay off down the road!) Want to register voters? We have a poster for that (in Spanish and English).

Here are other suggestions for generating enthusiasm around local elections:

  1. Increase visibility. Turn up the volume by including voting reminders in all of your communications. Put up posters or other signage to raise awareness of the upcoming election.
  2. Ensure staff and volunteers are equipped to answer basic questions about the election. They should know when polls open and close, how to help someone locate their polling site, and have contact information for your local election office available. 
  3. Make personal contact. Reach out to voters by integrating face-to-face conversations about the election into your services and meetings. Make frequent announcements and ask individuals if they are planning to vote, or if they have already voted. Personal reminders are an effective get-out-the-vote tactic, particularly on Election Day.
  4. Post a sample ballot or nonpartisan voter guide. Many voters, whether new or experienced, still have questions about voting, and they’re more likely to vote if they know what their choices are. You can help by making sample ballots available at your organization. 

Visit our website for other resources and ideas to help your nonprofit work on local elections. If you have questions about an upcoming election, contact your local election office for information. In the meantime, tell us what strategies your nonprofit uses to get voters involved in local elections!

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