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Community Voices Heard VOTER ENGAGEMENT CASE STUDY Getting More People Who Usually Don’t Vote to Vote More Often and in More Elections.

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Presentation on theme: "Community Voices Heard VOTER ENGAGEMENT CASE STUDY Getting More People Who Usually Don’t Vote to Vote More Often and in More Elections."— Presentation transcript:

1 Community Voices Heard VOTER ENGAGEMENT CASE STUDY Getting More People Who Usually Don’t Vote to Vote More Often and in More Elections.

2 Voting in NYS and NYC In NYS only 62% of registered voters voted in the 2004 Presidential Election. In NYC – 239,022 people were registered in 2004, but voter turn-out increased by only 39,994. In the South Bronx, the average number of registered voters who vote in a contested state representative primary is between 5 % and 15%.

3 Voter Engagement Project Goals To build a list of identified voters who support progressive economic justice issues in New York City. To increase voter engagement and turnout in a targeted set of election districts to show our organizational power in a non-partisan Get Out the Vote Project. To test, learn and evaluate internal systems and external processes in how to best educate about, and engage low-income and disenfranchised voters in, the political process, To continue to operate our successful core grass roots direct action and policy organizing work on job creation, education and training and income support.

4 CVH Voter Project Accomplishments Built a data-base of 3127 Voters Identified as Economic Justice Voters - People Who Support CVH Core Economic Justice Agenda. Increased turn-out by an average of 51% in 5 targeted Election Districts in the NYS Senate Primary the 28th Senate District of East Harlem and the South Bronx between 2002 and Increased by an average of 19% the number of people voting in the State Senate Race in 13 election districts, between 2000 and Showed an increase of between 12%-18% in people voting for State Senate in the 13 election districts CVH worked in compared to similar adjacent election districts in the State Senate 28.

5 Voter Contact & Education Accomplishments CVH educated 5778 voters about the electoral process, the role of the NYS Senate and pending policy issues in NYS. CVH conducted a survey poll of 2534 Registered Voters about critical economic justice issues that the NYS Legislature and City Council deal with. A report of the findings will be released in late winter. CVH registered 2634 new voters, 30% coming from the targeted 28th Senate District and contributing 7% of the Bronx’s new voter registrations. CVH recruited 1102 low-income registered voters to “pledge-to-vote” in the NYS Senate General and Primary Elections.

6 Organizational Accomplishments CVH mobilized 177 volunteers to work in the voter engagement project and recruited 34 new members into the organization through this work. CVH trained 6 low-income people to be Voter Engagement Organizers. CVH maintained our core economic justice direct action organizing and grass roots public policy work while engaged in electoral work. CVH translated our model of political education, membership involvement, and independent organizing to the CVH Voter Engagement/Electoral Organizing Project.

7 CVH’s Work in 2004 Feb-March CVH Voter ID Campaign Kick-Off 2004 Presidential Primary – 825 ID’s collected Primary Day June-August CVH Voter Registration Campaign and Develop Outreach and Messaging Strategy – 2632 Voter Registrations September-November CVH GOTV in Primary and General Election – 1102 Voter Pledges

8 September Primary: Impact of CVH’s Work Almost Half of the People CVH talked to Voted in the 2004 Senate Primary. The CVH Pledge Card Campaign produced 47% Voter Participation – People Voting. The general Voter Participation rate for the same 5 Districts is only 14.6%.

9 Voter Participation Rates in Sept Primary in 5 Targeted Districts in State Senate 28

10 September Primary: Impact of CVH’s Work Voter turn out increased in CVH targeted districts by 51% in the 2004 Primary over the 2002 Primary. In 10 Days CVH contacted 12% of the registered voters in one-on-one face to face contacts at the door.

11 November General Election: Impact of CVH’s Work 78% of people CVH contacted in 13 Targeted Districts Voted in the General Election. In the Bronx, the turnout was 41% % More Voters in Our Targeted Districts Voted for State Senate Compared to Similar Adjacent Districts. Voter turnout increased 19% in our targeted districts in this year’s election compared to the 2000 election.

12 Voter Turn Out - All Bronx and CVH ID’d in Bronx

13 CVH Voter Pledge Model Contact #1: CVH contacts priority voters at door and gets them to pledge to vote. Contact #2: CVH calls all voters identified as priority Contact #3: One week before the election, CVH mails to Contact #4: The weekend before the election, CVH re-knocks the door of all contacts. Contact #5: Phone to all pledges Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Contact #6: Election Day door hangers AM. Contact #7: Follow up door knock with pledge voters – contact voters until the polls close at 9:00 PM or until they confirm that they voted. All of these contacts included political education, issue education about pending public policy proposals, information about the voting process, and where people’s polling places were.

14 Lessons Learned Organizational commitment to high levels of one-on- one contact is key. People are not exercising full political power. Civic education is critical and can be done at the doors. Site-based voter registration is not effective for GOTV work. Community members / constituents are effective voter- engagement organizers.

15 Lessons Learned (Cont.) Large scale actions can produce a large number of voter Ids. You can’t have too many goals at the door. Technological support needs to be a combination of internal capacity and external support (TA). Staff and organizational capacity needs to be in place for effective membership involvement. You can do voter engagement and stay consistent with a CVH model.

16 Challenges & Difficulties Political landscape out of our control Targeted district and turf issues Membership engagement not happening Partisan challenges Project isolation Project funding not in alignment with goals of project, coming too late & too close to election

17 2005 & 2006 Voter Engagement Plan Re-contact all voter contacts-1st priority is 1200 voter pledge cards. Determine new turf with voter match of current CVH members. Initiate Voter ID and Voter Registration Canvass in Targeted Districts Recruit, train, and develop volunteer/membership teams. ID 10-20,000 voters - depending on funding Move participants in voter engagement work to CVH core policy campaigns. Develop and implement GOTV plan for 2005 Mayoral elections. Conduct voting process or other polling project survey project. Build base of economic justice voters for 2006 Gubernatorial campaign.


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