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Vote

The first step is to set reasonable goals and develop a plan for the voter registration drive. Goals and a plan enable you to work strategically and gauge your progress. When you set your goals, consider the following questions:

  • How many people do you want to register?
  • Where should you target people to register — do you want to target neighborhoods with historically low voter turnout or underrepresented and disenfranchised groups?
  • How will this voter registration drive further the goals of your state or branch voter turnout campaign?

  • Once you have your voter registration event in mind, let us know about your plans through the upcoming event form so we can send you materials and help support your event.
Get state voter registration rules from your local or state elections office. Make sure each volunteer at your USHL Voter Registration Drive understands these regulations before you start registering voters. Ask the local or state elections office these important questions:

  • How long before the election do voters need to be registered to be eligible to vote?
  • What is the age requirement for volunteers registering people to vote?
  • Do voters need to declare a party affiliation?
  • What are the rules for people who have been convicted of a felony?
  • How must registration forms be submitted to election officials?
  • What is the required length of residency prior to an individual registering to vote?
  • Are college students eligible to register to vote in the locality and state where they are enrolled?
  • Is there a required training for volunteers to be able to register voters?
Remember to check with your local election officials to see if you need to use a county- or state-specific form. If a certain form is not required, you should be able to use whatever form is provided by your local election official or the national voter registration form. If multiple languages are spoken in areas where you are conducting your drive, request voter registration forms in those languages. Just like getting people to vote, registering people is best done through direct, personal, targeted contact. The following ideas are creative ways to reach out to the community:

  • Send volunteers with clipboards to places where large groups of people congregate — malls, movie theaters, libraries, neighborhood festivals, rallies, etc.
  • Set up a table at a college or university campus in your area. The federal law requires colleges and universities to distribute in-state voter registration forms to students.
  • Hold an issue forum on a topic important to your community. Work with coalition partners and other community groups to publicize the event and promote voter registration.

As always, be sure to check the rules for each location before planning a voter registration event there. Remember to keep it personal — talk to people about why voting is important and what issues are at stake in the upcoming elections, without endorsing a particular candidate or encouraging voters to register to a party. Don’t forget to let us know how your voter registration drive went by filling out this form. Your feedback helps us highlight the best events in USHLI Newletters and capture USHLI’s nationwide impact.