We Helped Register 215,000 in 2015-16
Everyone has a voice, but not everyone in the United States is being heard.
The Rising American Electorate – unmarried women, young people, and people of color – are the fastest growing cohort of eligible voters and now comprise the majority of America’s voting age population. Yet these voters have historically been, and to this day are, significantly underrepresented at the polls.
Our goal: Everybody votes. And with each election cycle, a larger percentage of the Rising American Electorate flexes its power and muscle at the ballot box. The result? More Americans have their say when it comes to policies that affect them -- and our leaders listen.
Community Voters Project helps to increase civic engagement among underserved and underrepresented communities, focusing primarily on African Americans, Latinos, and in some locations, young people, through non-partisan voter registration and get-out-the-vote campaigns.
Our work in 2016
In coordination with our allies through the State Voices network, we used a site-based street canvassing model to identify and help register new voters. As musician and artist David Byrne described in a blog post about the Community Voters Project and other efforts to increase Rising American Electorate voter participation, the Community Voters Project functions on “a personal level—their staffers and volunteers are in the streets, continuing the fight against disenfranchisement by helping to register voters one by one and providing clarification into the (sometimes intentionally confusing) registration and voting processes.”
Our plan in 2015-2016 was to help register 200,000 voters in PA, NC, FL, GA, CO and AZ. We ended up helping to register 215,000 voters. In the six states in which we helped people register to vote, we hired and trained teams of hard-working directors, field managers and canvassers, and sent them into targeted communities.
The Community Voters Project conducts non-partisan voter registration and mobilization campaigns.
Our civic engagement offices are located within the communities we serve, making recruitment of staff from within the communities highly effective. This not only has helped ensure project success, but also has provided members of these communities with voter registration and staff management skills they can take with them into other civic engagement efforts. Once hired, every new staff member is trained, both in the field and through skills workshops, by an experienced canvasser or director. Network staff have extensive experience managing large scale public outreach operations, including voter registration and voter turnout.
We also collaborate and share our data, uploading key registration data into shared voter files managed by the 501 (c)(3) State Voices tables, so that other groups can make voter education and turnout contacts we helped register.
The Community Voters Project is a project of The Public Interest Network, which over the course of three decades has helped register more than 3 million voters.
The Community Voters Project launched in 2004 and immediately helped 93,000 African American and Latino and low-income voters register to vote, and made 62,500 GOTV contacts. Building on this success, we expanded the Community Voters Project in 2008 to 57 offices in 10 states (Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin) and successfully helped register 307,000 African American and Latino voters.
In 2012, the Community Voters Project has built on its past successes by opening 19 offices, hiring and training a dedicated team of directors and canvassers, and helping to register over 165,000 African American and Latino voters. Offices were based in Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. We then worked in four of those cities, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Columbus and Milwaukee to turn out the African American vote. We knocked on 85,000 doors in the four weeks leading up to Election Day.
That year, nearly 60 percent of first-time voters registered by the Community Voters Project turned out to vote.
In 2014, The Community Voters Project helped nearly 40,000 citizens in the Rising American Electorate register to vote in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Oregon.
A project of the Public Interest Network, The Community Voters project focuses primarily on African American and Latino registrants. The project is sponsored by Center for Public Interest Research and the Fair Share Education Fund, both 501 (c)(3) organizations. The Center also maintains its 4945 (f) status. Contributions to both organizations are tax-deductible.