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Get Out the Vote Against Hunger!

Voting is our right and our duty. Voting is our most basic opportunity to speak out for the policies and resources to help end hunger and poverty. Food banks and nonprofits can engage in non-partisan get out the vote reminders with our participants without violating 501c3 regulations. Indeed, we should do this to be comprehensive in services and we must do this to make a real, systemic difference in our work.

Social Distance Get Out the Vote Ideas for Food Banks
  • Post voting reminder signs in your windows or where visible to your curbside pick-up line.
  • Distribute our half-sheet (available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Simplified Chinese, and Russian): this has reminders about voter registration deadlines, when and how to turn in ballots, information about replacing missing or damaged ballots, etc.
  • Use our I Pledge To Vote sign-up sheet: attach it to a clipboard or include information electronically when doing client intake. Designate volunteers to make calls and/or send emails the week of Oct. 19 to check if ballots were received (and include information about printing out replacement ballots), the week of Oct. 26 with reminders to vote and return ballots by mail or at ballot drop boxes, and on Nov. 3 with final reminder about postmarked deadlines or 8pm drop box deadlines. Tailor our phone script to your program and style.
  • Get social! Use our graphics on your social media platforms to give reminders about important deadlines.
  • Check out our 2020 Voter Engagement Guide for more information.
Voter Engagement for Staff and Volunteers
  • Join the campaign: Nonprofit Staff Vote. Find resources, including example paid time off to vote policies, and other tips and reminders to help your staff and volunteers vote.
  • Send calendar invitations to all staff for important voter deadlines in Washington.
  • Hold a virtual ballot party for staff and volunteers: Ballot parties help get out the vote by creating a gathering space for people to fill out their votes in each other’s company. Content must be non-partisan about candidates for office, meaning you must let attendees know that there cannot be discussions about individual candidates for office, but you can provide plenty of non-partisan information, resources, and fun activities as attendees fill out their ballot. Some ideas:
    • Hold a trivia contest with prize drawings. Questions can inform about hunger issues, past legislative wins, test knowledge about return ballot deadlines, etc.
    • Play on attendees’ nostalgia while providing entertainment: we’re going to play School House Rock civics and US History videos!
    • Circulate the I Pledge to Vote sign-up sheet with staff who cannot attend and follow-up with them.
  • Make voting engagement accessible for all: you may have staff or volunteers who are ineligible to vote but that doesn’t mean they can’t be engaged. Ask if they can volunteer time to make GOTV phone calls, reminders, and signs for staff and program participants.
Show Us Your Ballot Drop!

Join our social media campaign to raise awareness about the importance of voting. Take a selfie when you return your ballot by mail or at a drop box and post it to social media with a caption telling people that you are voting against hunger and other issues important to you. Tag @NWHarvest so we can see and share your posts!

View/download all GOTV resources