15 votes

What can we do to support voter turnout in the US elections this fall?

There is an important election in the United States this fall, and we've all heard a lot of concern expressed about efforts to suppress the vote. Under the shadow of all the other issues we're currently facing as a society, I know a lot of people who are asking "what concrete actions can I take to make a difference?" It seems like helping to get out the vote is one very important action.

So here's a question to the Tildes community: what suggestions do you have about how we (as individuals) can help get out the vote this fall? Big or small, donating money or doing physical work -- what can we do?

11 comments

  1. [3]
    suspended
    Link
    Check yours, your friends', and family's voter registration to make sure it hasn't been purged by the GOP. https://www.vote.org/

    Check yours, your friends', and family's voter registration to make sure it hasn't been purged by the GOP. https://www.vote.org/

    8 votes
    1. Parliament
      Link Parent
      And check it often. Make sure the people in your personal network do the same. I check about once a month because I've lived in a state that purges people regularly. Thankfully my current state...

      And check it often. Make sure the people in your personal network do the same. I check about once a month because I've lived in a state that purges people regularly. Thankfully my current state has a surprisingly democratic process for how red it is.

      5 votes
    2. arghdos
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      For the privacy minded, I actually recommend going directly to the NASS website and finding your state’s voter registration page, rather than going through a private organization. Not that I’ve...

      For the privacy minded, I actually recommend going directly to the NASS website and finding your state’s voter registration page, rather than going through a private organization. Not that I’ve heard anything bad about vote.org, but the last time this came up on Tildes I (seem) to remember the consensus being that they would not share your data but it wasn’t written into their founding documents etc.

      For your family et al., where easy is king, it’s probably fine, though my state’s website is surprisingly easy and good as well.

      1 vote
  2. autumn
    Link
    I have been offering to print and deliver absentee ballot request forms in my state (North Carolina). This is the sort of thing most office workers would print at the office, since hardly anybody...

    I have been offering to print and deliver absentee ballot request forms in my state (North Carolina). This is the sort of thing most office workers would print at the office, since hardly anybody I know owns a printer.

    I'm also working the polls for the general election this year.

    4 votes
  3. [2]
    skybrian
    Link
    One way would be to volunteer with the Democrats to either call or text people in swing states. (Assuming defeating Trump is your goal.)

    One way would be to volunteer with the Democrats to either call or text people in swing states. (Assuming defeating Trump is your goal.)

    3 votes
  4. [4]
    WendigoTulpa
    Link
    I was walking down the street a few weeks ago when this group of 20 somethings walked past and I briefly heard one of the guys (sort of a tall dude, was talking pretty loudly, probably an...

    I was walking down the street a few weeks ago when this group of 20 somethings walked past and I briefly heard one of the guys (sort of a tall dude, was talking pretty loudly, probably an obnoxious type steamrolling the conversation) say "...nah I'm definitely not voting...", and one of the shorter girls in the groups responded with "yeah" or some form of confirmation to him.

    I feel like the BLM protests have brought to light how stupid and opportunistic these anarchist types are. Their ideas are nihilistic and appeal to the masses of lazy ass kids since nihilism requires absolutely nothing of them. They think saying fuck the system is cool, and not participating is the only way to bring down such an oppressive regime. They seriously believe the path of least resistence is the going to be the conduit of change in this country. That by vehemetly doing nothing while simultaneouly spending more and more money on superficial consummerist shit (think streetwear, vaporwave, fast food as a personality trait, etc...) they're going to lead the way to a brighter future.

    I have no idea how to reach these people. I've thought maybe putting up flyers around my city with messages directed at them might help? Messages like "Do anarchists vote? How fighting the system requires participation on all fronts. How could it possibly hurt?". Who knows though. I know I've generalized and maybe strawmanned a little here, but it does kind of feel like these younger folks have no desire to do anything besides yell a bit and continue on. I'd love to be proven wrong or if someone has a more informed position on this specific issue.

    2 votes
    1. [3]
      reese
      Link Parent
      Young people not voting has been a problem for decades. From Duke Today: The 26th amendment was passed in 1971, expanding the voting age to those 18 years and older, so "55 percent of 18- to...

      Young people not voting has been a problem for decades. From Duke Today:

      Turnout among young voters is typically 20-30 percentage points lower than among older citizens. And youth turnout has never matched that of 1972, Hillygus says.

      The 26th amendment was passed in 1971, expanding the voting age to those 18 years and older, so "55 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds cast ballots" aberrantly in 1972, because of novelty I guess.

      That year Nixon was reelected President, winning to George McGovern by over 60% of the vote, and then a couple years later Nixon resigned from office lol.

      Anyway, if you want more young people to vote, I think we just have to look generally at other developed countries for all age groups. From Pew (click the link for nice charts):

      The highest turnout rates among OECD nations were in Belgium (87.2%), Sweden (82.6%) and Denmark (80.3%). Switzerland consistently has the lowest turnout in the OECD: In 2015, less than 39% of the Swiss voting-age population cast ballots for the federal legislature.

      One factor behind Belgium’s high turnout rates – between 83% and 95% of VAP in every election for the past four decades – may be that it is one of the 24 nations around the world (and six in the OECD) with some form of compulsory voting, according to IDEA. (One canton in Switzerland, also an OECD member nation, has compulsory voting.)

      While compulsory-voting laws aren’t always strictly enforced, their presence or absence can have dramatic impacts on turnout. In Chile, for example, turnout plunged after the country moved from compulsory to voluntary voting in 2012 and began automatically enrolling eligible citizens. Even though essentially all voting-age citizens were registered for Chile’s 2013 elections, turnout in the presidential race plunged to 42%, versus 87% in 2010 when the compulsory-voting law was still in place. (Turnout rebounded slightly in last year’s presidential election, to 49% of registered voters.)

      So I personally conclude people are just lazy in general and don't take voting seriously unless it's required by law. To me voting should be compulsory to maintain citizenship in a given state, being the civic duty one must fulfill, which I assume would require something to the tune of a constitutional amendment; however, there are valid reasons (such as medical) why one might be unable to vote in a given election. That's not to mention states that will suppress people from voting using a variety of tactics so they can penalize them, and I have no idea what to do about that. It's impossible to pass such sweeping policy in the US without partisans within all branches of the government proving it cannot work by not allowing it to.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        Omnicrola
        Link Parent
        I think this is a fine example of the Fundamental attribution error. Which is not to say that some people aren't lazy, but painting with a broad brush like that seems uncalled for. Everyone is a...

        So I personally conclude people are just lazy in general and don't take voting seriously unless it's required by law.

        I think this is a fine example of the Fundamental attribution error. Which is not to say that some people aren't lazy, but painting with a broad brush like that seems uncalled for. Everyone is a rational actor within their own frame of context. There are a myriad list of reasons why someone is too busy, too exhausted, to disillusioned to go vote.

        I do think we need higher incentives that get people to the polls. Making voting day a national holiday. Give people a $20 tax credit if they vote. Simple things like that can have huge effects. I don't agree that maintaining your citizenship should be dependent on voting, though I understand the reasoning behind that idea.

        4 votes
        1. reese
          Link Parent
          Relatedly, one of the reasons I rarely post on Tildes anymore is because of cherry picking. I recognize there are other reasons people don't vote, and stated so in my comment. If the incentives...

          Relatedly, one of the reasons I rarely post on Tildes anymore is because of cherry picking. I recognize there are other reasons people don't vote, and stated so in my comment. If the incentives you suggest are promising, I would love to see them implemented.

          1 vote
  5. AugustusFerdinand
    Link
    Help Trump in any way possible to convince all of his supporters that the election has been cancelled so they don't show up. Since he seems to be doing exactly that, I see no reason not to support it.

    Help Trump in any way possible to convince all of his supporters that the election has been cancelled so they don't show up. Since he seems to be doing exactly that, I see no reason not to support it.