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College Voter Engagement Best Practices

BEST PRACTICES



DAYS TO PLAN YOUR VOTER ENGAGEMENT DRIVE

Your Voter Engagement Drive should take place over various days during the Fall Semester; here are some ideas for dates.

  • Welcome Weekends – This is a great time to join with other organizations participating to welcome back students. Many have just moved in to the area, or changed addresses and will need to update their voter registration with current information.

  • First-Year Student Orientation Activities and First Year Move-In Similar to the welcome weekend, but focusing on freshmen who are MUCH MORE LIKELY to have changed addresses recently.
    • TIP: Include update their voter registration forms and MyIowaVote information in their initial materials provided to them during these events
  • Homecoming Week – Have Voter Engagement activities throughout the week as part of school pride. Using MyIowaVote’s capability to track registrations using custom links, host a competition between student organizations to see who can get the most signups with their MyIowaVote link.
  • National Voter Registration Day – September 27th – Have administration, faculty, campus media and student organizations promote MyIowaVote and your Voter Engagement efforts leading up to this date and have a school wide push to encourage voter engagement on this date.
  • The Start of Absentee Voting – September 29th – Contact your county Auditor in early September to see if you can have a satellite absentee voting location on your campus on this date or another date before Election Day. Work with school and faculty to provide absentee ballot request forms and MyIowaVote materials
  • Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates - September 26th, October 4th, October 9th, and October 19th
    • Have tables and a push on campus with administration, faculty, staff to watch the debates and make sure they are up to date with everything they need to participate in November elections
    • Host watch parties, and have special guests come in to speak with students during and after the debates
  • Debates or forums taking place on campus – Work with local elected officials and campaigns to organize and publicize evening debates or forums between local candidates on campus. Be sure to offer voter registration materials absentee voting materials and the ability to sign up for MyIowaVote/TurboVote on laptops or iPads.
  • Volunteer and Non-Profit Fairs - Get a table in prominent area of the fairs and provide voter registration forms, absentee ballot request forms, Voting 101 brochures, and laptops featuring MyIowaVote and Online Voter Registration
  • Sports Rivalry or School Spirit Weeks - Using MyIowaVote’s capability to track registrations using custom links, host a competition between schools or student organizations to see who can get the most signups with their MyIowaVote link.

USING AND SHARING YOUR MYIOWAVOTE.COM LINK

One of MyIowaVote’s biggest assets is that it can be shared with ease in different ways.

  • Email the link or include the link in your email signature
  • Share the link on your personal Twitter and Facebook accounts
  • Share the link on organizational Twitter and Facebook accounts
  • Print the link and information out on business cards and hand them out
  • Work with IT Department to put links/advertisements on publicly viewed screens in commons areas, computer labs and dormitories.
  • Work with your school and student organizations to embed an iFrame of the MyIowaVote/TurboVote Page on a high traffic area online such as:
    • School’s Facebook page or Twitter
    • The school’s student portal
    • Blackboard pages for classes
    • Frequently visited informational pages on your school’s main website

PROMOTING MYIOWAVOTE.COM AND YOUR EVENT

There are many ways to promote MyIowaVote.com and your event with the help of others around campus.

  • Various ways groups can help you promote your event
    • Writing up and sending an email promoting MyIowaVote and your Voter Engagement Events
    • Appear in a video promoting your MyIowaVote and your Voter Engagement events
    • Appear in photos promoting MyIowaVote and your Voter Engagement events
    • Helping staff tables at your event
    • Post to their own social media promoting MyIowaVote and your Voter Engagement Events
    • Promoting MyIowaVote and your Voter Engagement Events to their networks
    • Donating food
  • What your campus and local media may be willing to do:
    • Write up articles about MyIowaVote and your Voter Engagement Events
    • Speak about MyIowaVote and your Voter Engagement Events on TV or radio
    • Interview you or someone from the planning committee about MyIowaVote and your Voter Engagement Events
    • Share information on their Social Media platforms about MyIowaVote and your Voter Engagement Events
  • Meet with the School Presidents to help promote your event
    • The school President can promote MyIowaVote and your Voter Engagement Events via school wide social media, email, and events
    • The school President would be able to get the word out to campus employees including staff and faculty to help promote MyIowaVote and your Voter Engagement Events.
    • Have the, send out a large email to all of the students on campus
  • Meet with the Administration to help promote your event
    • They would be able to get the word out to campus employees including staff and faculty to help promote MyIowaVote and your Voter Engagement Events
    • The administration can promote MyIowaVote and your Voter Engagement Events via school wide social media, email, and events
    • The administration can help you work with the IT department to get MyIowaVote widgets and links on student portals and on the schools high traffic web pages
  • Meet with other Student Organizations to help promote your event
  • Meet with local media and campus media to discuss a plan to cover your event.
    • Plan a calendar of when they’d be most interested in covering the drive
    • Come up with a list of interesting events and see which they’d be most interested in
  • Reach out to your schools athletic teams to help promote your Voter Engagement Drive
    • Have them appear in photos, videos and e-mails letting students know about MyIowaVote and your Voter Engagement event
    • Have them promote the event on their social media outlets

WHAT TO HAVE AT YOUR VOTER ENGAGEMENT DRIVE TABLE

Although MyIowaVote makes it easy to sign up online, you still can’t beat face to face interaction and encouragement to participate.

  • Voter Registration Forms
  • Absentee Ballot Request Forms
  • Flyers or Cards Advertising TurboVote (Coming soon to the toolkit)
  • Laptops or iPads that lead to:
  • Banners advertising your Voter Engagement Drive
  • Voter Registration Stickers (optional)
  • Water Bottles or Candy (optional)

DONATIONS TO HELP YOUR DRIVE

The University, local businesses, or alumni may be interested in helping to supply your event with materials or refreshments

  • See what funding (if any) may be available for Student Organizations from your college or University.
  • Ask local businesses for food donations.
  • Flyers or Cards Advertising TurboVote (Coming soon to the toolkit)
  • Ask local businesses for donations of office supplies.
  • Approach business and organizations for donations for drawings or sweepstakes
  • See if any notable school alumni would be interested in contributing donations or time supporting the Voter Engagement Drive and raise awareness to your MyIowaVote program.



    VOTER ENGAGEMENT DRIVE TOOLKIT


    Talking Points

    Campus Organizations

    My Iowa Vote

    Best Practices

    Online Voter Registration
    and Absentee Voting

    Guides

    Email Templates

    Social Media

    Banners & Flyers