Five Tips for Hosting a Successful National Voter Registration Day
National Voter Registration Day, or NVRD, is a national holiday that honors our democracy in perhaps the most appropriate way possible- encouraging those eligible to register to vote.
College and university campuses provide a great environment for an NVRD celebration, with strong, tight-knit communities and diverse members. From your roommate to your professor, all members of your college and university communities deserve to have their voice heard. Who better to register them than you, and what better time than National Voter Registration Day? After all, the more voices we have in our democracy, the better it represents us all.
Follow these tips from our Vote Everywhere network for an engaging and successful NVRD celebration:
1. Sign up as a partner
Vote Everywhere campuses like Bard College, Mesa Community College, University of Dayton, Western Carolina University and more are already signed up as official NVRD partners. NVRD Partners receive access to exclusives like an organizer’s toolkit, training webinars, posters & stickers, and more! Take your NVRD initiatives to the next level and sign up to be partner here.
2. Take your marketing efforts online and in print
Have a strong social media presence? Promote NVRD through a social media campaign! At Louisiana State University (LSU), Ambassadors plan on rolling out an NVRD social media campaign that involves partnering with the Office of the President to share voter registration locations on campus. Zoe Williamson, Vote Everywhere Team Leader at LSU, also emphasized encouraging volunteers and supporters to share social media posts on their own pages, saying, “We want people to get the message! By expanding our reach beyond just our organization’s immediate followers, we believe that we are reaching people that would be impacted by our mission the most.”
You can also get creative with your print marketing; University of Michigan has taken out an advertisement in the planners provided by the University to promote NVRD during the month of September, while Kutztown University is having NVRD t-shirts made for the campus community.
3. Plan a party
Vote Everywhere Ambassadors are giving NVRD a true celebration by holding NVRD fairs and throwing NVRD parties on campus. Students at Montclair State University (MSU) have seen White House bouncy houses and “Uncle Sam on stilts” at NVRD fairs in the past. This year, the team plans to bring more fun activities, like a mechanical bull ride and a DIY bumper sticker station, to keep the event fun, engaging, and eye-catching.
4. Find some co-hosts
At SUNY Geneseo, the Vote Everywhere team plans to make this year’s NVRD celebration the biggest yet. That’s why they, along with our Vote Everywhere teams across the country, are partnering with other on-campus organizations and departments like the University’s Center for Community and applying for grants to enhance NVRD efforts in order to gain more resources, skills, and hands-on-deck for the big event!
5. Come prepared
A fun event can also be informative! Make sure to have paper or electronic copies of the voter registration form available for all who attend your event, as well as any additional resources or information about the upcoming election, and ways to get involved in voter engagement efforts on campus.
In addition to fun activities, MSU Campus Champion Dr. Mariel Pagan reports they will also have a sample voting booth on campus, provided by the county so that first-time voters can have “an up-close and personal look at the voting booth before election day.”
We hope that sharing these tips with you will help your campus host the best National Voter Registration Day yet! Don’t forget to have fun, report your final numbers to NVRD, and remember, registering is just the beginning! The 2018 Midterm Elections will be here before we know it. After the White House bouncy house has deflated and dust settles on National Voter Registration Day it’s time to plan a GOTV strategy that will have your student body excited about voting on November 6.
About the Author
Taryn Dwyer is the Vote Everywhere and Puffin Democracy Fellows Program Manager at The Andrew Goodman Foundation. She graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Siena College. With multiple organizing, lobbying and advocacy opportunities in Albany, Taryn’s professional interest for student leadership and social justice flourished. She went on to complete her Master of Science in Social Work at Columbia University, where she currently co-lectures on topics of power, race, oppression, and privilege.