Voting is a fundamental right and an important duty in our society. Unfortunately, voter turnout in some places like the United States is very low. This has negative effects on political discourse, as well as on economic and social outcomes. While legal changes to the way we vote are the best way to increase turnout, there are many steps that can be taken to encourage voters and our acquaintances to cast their vote.
Method 1 of 2: Encourage your friends and acquaintances to vote
Step 1. Get them to register (for US elections)
USA). Non-political people are often uninformed about aspects of the voting process. They may not know how or when to register, or they may think it puts them at risk of arrest (which is false). When a voter registers, they feel like they are part of the political process, which in turn encourages them to vote.
- If you want to know how voter registration works in your state, just visit https://vote.usa.gov/, and indicate the state in which you would like to vote. The page will direct you to that of the corresponding state, where you can register online if it allows it. If you can register online, you can register your friend to vote without even leaving your home.
- Register within the allowed time frame, which is typically 15-30 days before the election, but some states allow voter registration on the day of the election. You can find a list of deadlines at
Step 2. Remind them of the date
Many non-voters just forget Election Day. Even if they notice that it is Election Day, they may have already made other plans. Make sure they are informed about the date, and if they think something could coincide with this day, have them cast an absentee vote.
- For example, the 2016 elections were on Tuesday, November 8.
- The easiest way to request an absentee vote is by visiting a page like https://www.usvotefoundation.org/ or https://www.vote.org/. Just enter your email address and they will send you an email with an absentee vote request for your state, and they will provide you with the appropriate return address along with the deadline for the timely delivery of your vote.
Step 3. Come to an agreement with them
It is illegal to pay a friend or acquaintance to vote, so don't do it. However, the next time a non-voting friend asks you for a small favor, come to terms with them. Do it on the condition that you vote, no matter who you vote for.
For example, if he asks you to take him to the store, say “No problem, but you also have to do me a favor. Go vote. It doesn't matter who you vote for, just do it. "
Step 4. Find a problem that matters to them
Government affects everyone's life in more ways than one, and each person has an opinion on how they should handle various problems, even if they are unaware of it. Use this aspect to your advantage when encouraging a friend to vote.
Many non-voters have a very confusing understanding of what the government does and the functions that each level of the government performs. Yet almost everyone cares about what happens in their own community. Many of the day-to-day functions of government are in the hands of local authorities, such as school board members and municipal councilors. These are some of the elections where it is easier to influence people, since the electorate is very small
Step 5. Scare them
Fear is an excellent motivator, and it is no exception in voting. If you can't get people to vote for a positive vision of the future, convince them to vote against a vision of impending chaos.
- You don't have to lie to do it. Powerful authorities (such as the president) generally must make decisions in which there will be a winner and a loser, no matter what they choose. The results of these decisions - such as which areas to provide food aid to and when to advocate for the homeless - often have life-threatening consequences.
- Even local authorities have a lot of power over the daily life of the citizens in their jurisdiction. Each sheriff's department decides which laws to apply first, judges have the power to deprive people of life and liberty, and school board members have a lot of control over the local education system.
Method 2 of 2: Increase voter turnout
Step 1. Make consistent, personal calls
This is one of the best ways to get a voter to go to the polls. This consists of visiting the home of a specific person or calling them on the phone. If the same person visits or calls you more than once, this will be very effective because it will create a disruption in the normal routine of the non-voter, allowing them to kick the habit of not voting.
- In this sense, this tactic consists of making a call to a specific person and not to all of them in general. For example, you will focus on someone like Mary Jane Watson, and not on a general group of people.
- Do not exaggerate. You should not become a nuisance.
Step 2. Have them come up with a plan
Another great way to increase voter turnout is to make a voting plan, or review the steps the person will take to vote. In the past, it was common in campaigns for potential voters to be asked whether they planned to vote or not, and that was it. There were no further questions. However, the best practice for increasing voter turnout is to ask them how they plan to vote. In this way, the voter can imagine any obstacle that could prevent them from voting. You should ask a series of questions, such as the following:
- Will you vote in person or in absentia?
- If you are voting in person, do you know where the polling place is? Do you have a means of transportation to reach it?
- If you are voting absentee, have you applied for a ballot? Do you know when the deadline is?
Step 3. Use a vocabulary that allows you to create a notion of identity
A subtle but effective way to encourage people who don't vote often is to change your vocabulary a bit when you ask them questions. For unclear reasons, people's inner identity is only loosely connected to their actions; until they are reminded of the discrepancy between them. Take advantage of this situation by emphasizing the identity of the voter, rather than the act of voting.
For example, instead of saying “Mr. Smith, do you plan to vote this cycle?”Say“Mr. Smith, how important do you think it is to participate in this year's elections? "
Step 4. Let voters know that there will be high turnout on Election Day
It took a long time for campaign professionals to realize that saying turnout is going to be high in elections was a more effective strategy to encourage it. Although a low turnout election is easier to sway and more votes are needed, the fact is, no one would want to go to an empty party or be on the losing team.
This would be an effective appeal: “We expect a record turnout for these elections. The other party knows how close we are to victory, so they are trying very hard. We need each of you to go to vote and commit to taking someone else to the polls. "
Step 5. Blame them
This is a more controversial strategy, but it works. Who votes and who does not is a matter of public record (there is no record of how they vote, only that they have voted), so you can use it to your advantage.
- First, identify a person who votes infrequently and is registered with your party or in a highly partisan area. Then you send an envelope home with a document that correlates your non-voting record with a disastrous outcome.
- For example, write something like “Clara, you have only voted once in the last four elections. In 2012, a year in which you did not vote, Mephistotle was elected as a representative of the House of Delegates. Since that day, everything has collapsed. Clara, are you going to let the world turn into chaos again in the next election? Please do the right thing. "