Successful voter registration drives do not necessarily lead to great turnout at the polls. An effective way to motivate people to vote is to educate them about the political process, the candidates, and the campaign issues, particularly as they relate to their own lives. Voter education events can range from candidate debates, to issue-based forums, from flyers and email communications to political fairs. We have some suggestions, but they should be utilized with an open mind and knowledge of your campus. Feel free to modify any of the suggestions to make them work for you.
- Organize candidate and political fairs at which candidates, political groups, or other elected officials come to speak and distribute information. Eastern Oregon University registered 26,000 voters by inviting state and local candidates to a barbecue
- Stage political debates between candidates, campaign representatives, or representatives from partisan organizations.
- Design issue forums to educate student on major campaign issues and the connections between contemporary policy debates and the electoral process.
- Create a website with information and links to pages that will help educate voters
- There are a lot of sites ready for use, you can quickly create a page of links rather than recreating them, put up general tips that will help students on your campus. Get a free badge to link to this site.
- Create links to candidate web pages and to issues-based websites like VoteGopher.com.
- Create a link to the Senate and house pages, maybe even listing legislation that concerns students in your area.
- Host a DebateWatch.
- Pass out handbills use our free templates
- Include event information on one side and candidate information on the other side
- Your own and other useful websites with campaign information
- Hold dialogues around a specific issues
- Create awareness handbills (mini-posters)
- Issue based handbills, two candidates on each side and how they stand on a particular issue
- Hold dialogues
- Lunch/dinner discussions (this doesn’t take a lot, try to designate a table in caf’ or rent a room during lunch hour, create signs and wait for the people to arrive)
- Talk about issues, candidates, address concerns for first time voters, etc.
- Hold education seminars
- Help students that are not familiar with the process get comfortable with being a new voter
- Your county election board will set up booths (normally for free), and can provide you with sample ballots to hang
- Talk about the things that they should look for in their candidate (not partisan education, but how they will be affected by a candidate)
- Make announcements in unusual places
- Halftime of athletic games
- Intermission of performances
- Post information in the restroom (even in the stalls, especially in freshman dorm building)
- Combine with voter registration announcement
- And of course use posters
- Interest Politics posters will catch some attention (make it personal, or aimed at a certain group)
- Be creative, use catchy phrases