In August, Lighthouse celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment and the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by sharing resources with employees surrounding voter registration, mail-in ballots and polling locations, as well as ways employees can use their volunteer time off (VTO) and PTO to promote voting awareness. Since then, several employees have taken action to help get the vote out leading up to the November 3 election. Below are a few of their stories and ways to support voting awareness this election year.
Encouraging Friends and Family
Cole Brown, Associate Partner Account Manager at Lighthouse, has been encouraging his friends and family members to vote by leveraging a free app called VoteWithMe to connect with those who may need an extra boost. The app syncs with your phone’s contacts and pulls from public records to allow you to see who voted in previous elections, in what states, and for which party, as well as sends pre-made texts to your contacts to get out and vote.
Cole utilized the tool to see who among his friends and family did not vote in the 2016 election. Depending on his relationship with the contact, he might send a quick text to a close friend or make a phone call to an older relative, for example. For those more difficult conversations with family or friends who have different political views, he lets them know he is coming from a place of sincerity and that he intends to get them to vote and take part in this election year.
“The polls do not matter if people do not go out and vote. I am reaching out to my circle to encourage them to vote without trying to sway any political views.”
– Cole Brown
Cole has also leveraged IWillVote.com to check contacts he could not find on the VoteWithMe app. With this website, Cole looks up close friends and family by plugging in their names, birthdates, states, etc. and then reaches out to make sure their voice is heard and counted. Cole plans to continue his outreach over the coming weeks leading up to the election.
Researching and Sharing Voter-Specific Information
Lori Salmonsen, Learning Experience Designer at Lighthouse, has been helping get out the vote by researching, sharing information, and connecting with others to inform them of their voting rights and options. Over the past several weeks she has been looking into voting-related questions, such as whether to put your ballot in a mailbox or a designated drop box for mail-in ballot states. She then shares key information and findings on her social platforms, comments on other posts, and directly discusses with her close friends. Some of these resources include:
- Check to see if you are registered to vote and when your ballot may be coming in the mail through Vote.org.
- Share voting information and ways for friends across the country to volunteer in support of these efforts via RockTheVote.
- Check your registration status, request a ballot, and become a poll worker with the HeadCount.org.
“I am planning to drop my ballot off at a designated drop box, as it is more secure, and watch it be picked up, as that is something you have the right to do and should be a fun experience to watch.”
– Lori Salmonsen
Lori plans to continue to research and share information leading up to the November 3 election.
Writing Letters to Voters
Chrissy Bauer, Senior Administrative Assistant at Lighthouse, has been supporting voting awareness by working with a couple of friends and family members to write letters to those who did not vote in the last election. She is doing so through Vote Forward, an organization that collects names and addresses of people who did not vote in the last election and sends them to volunteers to write nonpartisan letters to encourage those folks to get out their vote. The organization has been able to send over 10 million letters thus far, 200 of which Chrissy has written herself.
“My daughters are helping me to stamp the envelopes. It is a fun family activity that supports a very important cause. We fought hard for the right to vote and it feels important to use that right.”
– Chrissy Bauer
Writing letters to voters is one of the most effective ways to help increase election turnout and you can do it directly from home. To learn more about the organization, visit votefwd.org.
For more information about any of the above, feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.