Across the U.S., nonpartisan civic engagement organizations are using digital communications across the voter experience, helping people to participate in their democracy and make their voices heard. From voter registration, to making a plan to vote, to navigating the changes in the voting process during the pandemic, organizations like DoSomething.org, VoteAmerica, and Democracy Works are using communications to help ensure that every eligible voter can cast their ballot.
Voter registration is core to participation, and DoSomething.org, the largest organization for young people and social change, is one of the leading nonprofits working to increase civic action among young people. Using online and SMS-based action campaigns, among other initiatives, DoSomething.org registered over 118,000 young people to vote in 2018.
In 2020, the organization has already exceeded its goal of 250,000 registrations, despite the challenges of COVID-19. Their fully digital program has again included SMS, email, and on-site messaging, as well as a focus on peer-to-peer student engagement by replicating the experience of running a voter registration drive in a young person’s community or school with their Online Voter Registration Drive (OVRD) tool powered by Rock the Vote, and amplified by partners like The National Association of Secondary School Principals and Rhode Island Department of Education.
2018 was a significant year for voter engagement: 53 percent of the citizen voting-age population voted in 2018, the highest midterm turnout in four decades. Among 18- to 29-year-olds, voter turnout went from 20 percent in 2014 to 36 percent in 2018, the largest percentage point increase for any age group—and representing a 79 percent relative increase.
Higher voter engagement reflects the success that organizations like DoSomething.org have achieved in driving more socially active and civic-minded populations. The high turnout of voters also reflects these organizations’ commitment to providing informative digital communications, helping voters understand the process, get educated about candidates and issues, and navigate the complex electoral environment all the way to casting their vote.