This blog post is part of a series sharing voter registration and civic engagement tips and ideas from health center advocates. If your health center is offering voter registration and you would like to write a guest blog post, email your post to CHCVote@nachc.org.
Guest blog post by Dana Lawrence, Director of Communications & Grassroots Advocacy for the Michigan Primary Care Association
Tips for Health Center GOTV
With the 2012 General Election getting ever closer, now is the time to start focusing on Get out the Vote (GOTV) activities. GOTV is a term used to describe an activity aimed at increasing the number of eligible voters who actually vote in an election. Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA) compiled a list of over 20 different options that Health Centers can choose from to help encourage patients and community members to Get Out the Vote, and it includes links where folks can go to download forms, order GOTV materials, and get state-specific voting information.
Not only are Health Centers ideal places to register voters, they are also ideal places to mobilize voters. Voter mobilization research shows that when nonprofits talk to their clients about voting, their clients are more likely to vote and more likely to talk to their friends and family about voting. Plus, after someone votes once they are more likely to vote again, and to follow issues and participate in community affairs.
MPCA will be sharing “20 Ways Your Health Center Can Get Out The Vote” with all Michigan Health Centers as well as members of the MPCA Grassroots Advocacy Network – a group of Michigan Health Center staff and board members committed to giving their Health Center a voice in the development of policy and legislation. The MPCA Grassroots Advocacy Network provides a forum for discussing advocacy issues, sharing up-to-date information, and helping Health Centers promote a culture of advocacy within their organization. The information in “20 Ways Your Health Center Can Get Out the Vote” will also be used as the basis for an article on the MPCA blog, and it will be shared via Facebook, Twitter, and the weekly MPCA eUpdate, too. As the document explains, repeat messages from multiple sources make a difference!