How can I help register new voters?
February 1, 2020 1:18 PM   Subscribe

I want to volunteer to help register new voters, and would like to do so within a group that is not endorsing particular candidates. Surprisingly, there isn’t a League of Women Voters branch in my town. What are other options for me?
posted by bookmammal to Law & Government (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I believe the answer all depends on your location. In my state (IL), you can become a deputy registrar after taking a one hour class but you must be sponsored by a political organization (i.e., a political party or local group) in order to enroll. Once you are a deputy registrar, you can register any eligible person in the state, no questions asked.
posted by DrGail at 2:04 PM on February 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

Agree with DrGail that it can somewhat depend on your state, because each state has different requirements for registering voters. I would start with checking with your state/local Democratic Party - in Ohio, for example, in 2016, most of the spring and summer were spent on campaigns to register new voters and getting people to make sure they were properly registered. Even after Hillary won the nomination in July, a lot of time and effort was still spent on voter registration.
posted by soundguy99 at 2:55 PM on February 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

I am pretty sure they do not endorse candidates, so look at an organization called "Headcount". Their website is I heard about them at a Bob Weir concert. They do a lot of work at music events trying to register new voters.
posted by AugustWest at 2:55 PM on February 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

Hook up with NextGen America.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:08 PM on February 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

This will be easier to answer if we at least know what state you're in and what states you're willing to travel to for this purpose. If you want to work in Wisconsin, send me a memail and I will help hook you up with state-specific training and then personally send you out on a nonpartisan canvass to register voters in a low-turnout ward.

Headcount is a great organization and is definitely nonpartisan. They register voters at concerts and other events.

If you can't find an existing group, find out what's required to register voters in your state and get some training. Then find 1-5 friends who also want to register voters and give yourself a name. Start calling food pantries and telling them you are from the "Yourtown Civic Engagement Club" and you want to set up a nonpartisan voter information table once a week during their open hours. Seriously, if you have a name and a clipboard, you will be amazed at what people will let you do. Just make sure you're giving accurate information and not breaking any laws.

Oh! And call your city clerk's office! They will be able to tell you what kind of training you need and might be able to suggest other community groups already doing this work. Our clerk's office will even let you volunteer WITH them to register voters, once you've had training.
posted by juliapangolin at 3:46 PM on February 1, 2020 [4 favorites]

Rock the Vote still exists.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:23 PM on February 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

Something else you can do if you can't find a good in-person option is write letters for Vote Forward; some of the campaigns are voter registration and some are GOTV (in which you would hold the letters until shortly before the election).
posted by praemunire at 11:01 AM on February 2, 2020

Check out VoteRiders.
posted by brainwane at 11:06 AM on February 2, 2020

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