Lisa Hazirjian, Ph.D., Win Together Consulting
Nonprofit service providers are total rock stars when it comes to helping people overcome obstacles – and there’s a sense of accomplishment that comes from helping our clients turn the seemingly impossible into the possible. For many, it’s one of the greatest rewards of our work.
Helping your clients overcome the obstacles that most frequently prevent people from voting is a natural extension of what you do every day. It doesn’t need to take much effort, either. Here are five simple ways you can help your clients overcome the most common obstacles to voting.
1. Raise awareness that there’s an election coming up by sharing nonpartisan information like these free educational materials from You Can Vote that explain what’s on the ballot and why it matters.
2. Make sure everyone knows who is eligible to vote in this general election. In particular:
- If you work with justice-involved people, be sure they know how to exercise their voting rights while detained in jail or after being released from prison.
- If you serve high school or college students, share resources about how to register and vote.
- If you have ties to Hispanic communities, distribute Spanish-language voter education materials to help those who are eligible to vote exercise their rights.
3. Give people the tools to feel confident in their preparation to vote by publicizing nonpartisan voter guides such as Vote411, a project of the League of Women Voters’ Education Fund.
4. Publicize the options for voting by mail or in person. In particular:
- If you serve people living with health issues that would make it difficult to vote inside their polling place, make sure they know how to request their ballot by mail or use curbside voting. The state also offers special services for visually impaired voters and those living in care facilities.
- Anyone who is eligible to vote – whether they have already registered or not – can vote during the state’s one-stop early voting period, which will run from Thursday, October 20 to Saturday, November 5, 2022 for this election.
- Voters who are unable to enter the voting place without physical assistance due to age or disability have the right to vote curbside during the early voting period or on Election Day.
5. Talk people through the steps of making a plan to vote, just like they would schedule a haircut, a job interview, or a doctor’s appointment. Be aware that anyone who votes on Election Day – Tuesday, November 8 – MUST be registered already and MUST go to their assigned polling place. For most people, early voting is far more convenient. You can use this free, printable early voting planner to help everyone you work with – clients and staff – make their early voting plans!
Lisa Hazirjian, PhD, founded Win Together Consulting to help nonprofits, campaigns, and social justice organizations develop strategy, build power, engage supporters, and leverage strengths to achieve their goals. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy Studies, Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies, and Ph.D. in U.S. History from Duke University, and is working toward a Nonprofit Leadership Certificate from the Harvard Kennedy School.