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BASIC COMPONENTS OF A VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVE

                
Information – How do you publicize the drive?
  • Advertise online.
  • Write articles; send Public Service Announcements to newspapers, radio, and TV stations, especially Black papers and radio
  • Appear on radio talk shows; call-in to local DJ’s to get on the air interviews, ask ministers who have radio and TV programs to announce your drives.
  • Send Press Kits to key radio, TV and newspaper Community Affairs offices, their community affairs directors and public relations people.  Be aggressive.  The media need a good story.  Be creative in giving the press an angle.
  • Arrange press conferences, prayer vigils, car caravans, marches, and rallies.
  • Leaflet concerts, sporting events, transportation hubs, block parties, union meetings, Head Start offices, and day care centers with fliers.
  • Make some noise.  Get a bullhorn and a sound truck.  Go to all segments of the community-low income, high income, and no income, Black and white.
Inspiration – Make It Fun! – Be Positive – Believe That You Will Succeed
  • Involve children, teens, and seniors.  Make T-shirts.  Compose jingles, rap, and Hip-Hop lyrics to advertise your drive.
  • Show films (e.g. Eyes on the Prize – From Selma to Montgomery).  Invite Civil Rights leaders to come and discuss the issues.
  • Sponsor tours to Selma, Birmingham, Montgomery, and other Civil Rights landmarks.  Tell the story because many of our people don’t know.
Involvement – Participate, Get off The Sidelines, Get In the Game
  • Commit yourself to register at least one person per week.
  • Lead your church in a massive voter registration drive.
  • Lead your denominational and interdenominational group in a drive.
  • Help pass out leaflets, fliers, and posters.  Lead by example.  Let the people see you out in the community actively doing, leading, and teaching.
  • Lead your Steering Committee in an evaluation process to determine the strengths, weaknesses, and recommendations for improvements of your drive.
  • Fast and pray that the Black community will register and vote in record numbers.
 

PLANNING A SUCCESSFUL VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVE

 
Developing a plan for your voter registration drive is the first, and most critical, step to take.  It will be a "blueprint" for your entire effort. Don't be hesitant to get detailed in your plan. You can always alter your plan later---the key is to get the plan on paper now.  The more details you can think of at this stage, the few surprises you'll have later.
 
1.      YOU'VE GOT TO LAY OUT, ON PAPER
 
  • What the state rules and deadlines are;
  • What your goals are;
  • What your targeted precincts or areas are;
  • What your budget is and where the money will come from;
  • What your timeline is;
  • Which voter registration method or methods you're going to use;
  • When and where your drive will take place;
  • How long it will last;
  • How many volunteers you'll need to reach your goals;
  • Who you'll recruit to be volunteers;
  • Who will coordinate volunteer work, door-to-door, phone banks,
  • How you'll keep track of the volunteers progress;
  • How you'll coordinate with allied registration drives.
 
2.   SET GOALS YOU CAN REACH.  As you develop your goals, remember: you do not need to register all of the unregistered people in your targeted area.  A good plan, committed volunteers, adequate resources, solid targeting will result on a successful drive. The deciding factor in setting your goals is the registration method your drive uses---how, when and where you can register voters.  Tips to remember:
 
  • Make sure your goals are realistic
  •  Know your target areas by doing good research
  •  Assess your resources
 
3.       CREATE A TIMELINE 
180 Days
ØLeadership Meetings – Establish Coalition
ØPlan Tracking
ØAppoint Coordinator
ØDo targeting and set goals
ØDo budget and timeline
120 Days
ØSelect sites for on-site registration
ØRequest sites from Voter Registrar’s Office (if required)
ØBegin voter education activities
90 Days
ØRequest voter registration forms
ØRecruit volunteers
ØConduct volunteer training
80 Days
ØTrain coordinators
70 Days
ØTrain Volunteers
60 Days
ØBegin registration drive
ØPhone banking operations begin
30 Days
ØRegistration Drive Ends – Shift to GOTV (Get-Out-The-Vote)
ELECTION DAY
 
 
4.  ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS
  • How many unregistered voters are there in your target areas?
  • How much time do you have?
  • How many volunteers are you likely to have?
  • How much money or in-kind resources can you count on?
5.  COMPLETE THE PLANNING CHECKLIST
  •  The new registrant goal for this drive is ______________________________.
  •  The method(s) we'll use to register voters are: ________________________.
  •  Contact/ coordination with local voter registration officials have been made.
  • Timeline and calendars have been completed.
  • We'll need _______________ volunteers.
  • Volunteers have been recruited.
  • Primary target areas have been selected.
  • Sites for registration tables have been selected and approved by voter registration office, if necessary. (check with local voter registration officials)
  • Lists have been obtained and matched to find unregistered people.
  • Address and phone numbers of unregistered people are included on the list (where applicable).
  • ___________________ voter registration forms have been obtained.
  • Phone banks have been set up (where applicable).
 
6.  METHODS TO REGISTER VOTERS.  There are seven ways to register voters*
 
  • Motor Voter Registration. Motor Voter Registration is a central component of the National Voting Rights Act of 1993 (NVRA).  It allows people to register to vote at the same time they apply for their driver's license.  (See sample form in appendix)
  • Mail-in Registration.  Volunteers register people on the spot by having them fill out postcards or forms, which are then sent to the local elections office.  This is a great tool for door-to-door canvassing or on-site registration efforts.
  • Agency-based registration.  NVRA requires public assistance and disability agencies to register its applicants automatically when they are served.
  • Deputy registration.  Voters register at sites, which are designated by the state as operations for the registration centers.  If the sites do not meet the community's needs, it may be necessary to petition for additional ones.
  • Centralized registration.  Voters must register at specific city buildings such as courthouses and town halls.
  • Same day registration.  Voters register at the polls on Election Day.  In some cases, voters may also pre-register prior to the election.
  • Online registration.  According to National Association of Secretaries of State, 16 states allow online voter registration. [For more information visit: http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/electronic-or-online-voter-registration.aspx#table]


National Coalition on Black Civic Participation
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