Our civic engagement work ensures that people do participate in our democracy. Our tables work to encourage electoral engagement through coordinated voter registration and get out the vote programs. They also encourage advocacy by organizing partners around key issues.
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Unfortunately, many eligible Americans do not vote in elections. We aim to reverse this destructive trend and encourage habitual voting, but we recognize that this requires deep involvement in our communities on the issues that matter. In other words, at State Voices, we recognize that civic engagement must be a priority all year, every year, not just during election season.
Our tables therefore develop annual plans to engage underrepresented and marginalized communities. We believe that the (c)(3) organizations that sit at our tables are uniquely positioned to encourage genuine civic engagement. Their role as trusted messengers deeply involved and embedded in our communities, and their year-round work independent of the election calendar, qualifies them to engage voters and encourage interest.
We also coordinate national civic engagement plans, putting our national partners in contact with the state-based organizations on the ground to share resources and best practices. Currently, we are working to expand the capacity of our tables and partners to use SMS and other communications technologies to further engage constituents. In the 2016 electoral season (the most recent year with a federal election), our tables and partners collected almost 1.5 million voter registration applications and made over 6.5 million voter contacts:
State Voices imagines a democracy with every eligible citizen as an active participant. Our civic engagement programs are designed to make this a reality—both by engaging people during elections, but also by encouraging their involvement in the political process regarding the issues that matter the most to them.