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Posts tagged ‘voter education’

Public Agenda’s Nonpartisan Voter Guides Help Citizens Face Tough Choices

By Allison Rizzolo, Senior Communications Associate, Public Agenda

This election season, Public Agenda‘s nonpartisan Citizens’ Solutions Guides  provide a roadmap for voters to navigate through some of the trickiest, yet most important, issues facing the country today.

A healthy democracy requires the active engagement and participation of its citizens. Unfortunately, too many young people–and adults, too–feel left out of the democratic process. They don’t think they have the skills or the knowledge to participate. Hostile partisan rhetoric leads many into abject cynicism or the sort of wishful thinking that won’t get us anywhere.

The Citizens’ Solutions Guides seek to remedy this situation, providing civic education resources to help us confront our problems in thoughtful and productive ways that will lead to sustainable solutions.

Citizens don’t need to be experts to weigh in on our options– we just need a few basic facts to understand the tradeoffs and consider our solutions. To this end, the Solutions Guides:

  • provide the background necessary for understanding these complex issues;
  • examine some of the approaches endorsed by candidates and policymakers from across the political spectrum; and
  • look at some of the pros and cons for these approaches, from a variety of perspectives, so citizens can understand and weigh the tradeoffs inherent in any pathway forward.

In this way, citizens can think through what’s most important to them as they decide on the candidate that will receive their vote.

The Citizens’ Solutions Guides are written in approachable language and without the wonk or the rhetoric. The series is grounded in Public Agenda’s Choicework approach to deliberation, which helps get voters out of an either/or, politicized frame of thinking to start focusing on practical solutions.

The guides, made possible by the generous support of The Dilenschneider Group, tackle 6 important policy issues: the federal budget, energy, health care, immigration, education, and jobs and the economy.  The guides can be used as discussion starters for community and group conversations in libraries and classrooms. Each guide is available as a free, interactive PDF, which can be accessed at

For more information about Public Agenda or the Citizens’ Solutions Guides, email Allison Rizzolo at Join the conversation on Twitter! Use hashtag #Solutions2012, and find us at @PublicAgenda.

National Voter Registration Day: September 25, 2012

National Voter Registration Day — a non-partisan effort — is September 25, 2012. Will your campus be participating?

Monday, August 20th is the last day campuses and organizations will be able to sign up for National Voter Registration Day to host an event and still receive free materials. There are 2 easy things you can do to make sure you and your partners receive free posters, stickers and a beginners guide to organizing:

1.) Create an event on the National Voter Registration Day website to let new volunteers, and people who would like to register on the 25th, know how to find you. Click here or follow the link to:

2.) Spread the word to any of your affiliates, friends, or family that want to join the effort to register thousands of people on September 25th.


In 2008, 6 million Americans didn’t vote because they missed a registration deadline or didn’t know how to register.1 In 2012, we want to make sure no one is left out.

National Voter Registration Day

On September 25, 2012, volunteers, celebrities, and organizations from all over the country will “hit the streets” for National Voter Registration Day. This single day of coordinated field, technology and media efforts will create pervasive awareness of voter registration opportunities–allowing us to reach tens of thousands of voters or more who we could not reach otherwise.

What It Means

• Celebrities registering voters and generating buzz at surprise locations.

• Volunteers at transportation hubs, retail stores, sporting, and concerts.

• Technology to help eligible voters find registration drives nearby.

• A network of grassroots, local organizations engaged in their own communities.

• Tens of thousands of voters registering to vote online and offline in a single day.

What It Will Accomplish

Register Voters: A network of a thousand organizations operating on the ground and through social media will register tens of thousands of voters in the field and tens of thousands more online–while also receiving pledges to vote from the already registered.

Mobilize Volunteers: By engaging nonprofits not usually engaged in voter registration drives and amplifying existing drives through event-based recruitment and cultural outreach, National Voter Registration Day will bring thousands of additional volunteer voter registrars into the field just when we need them most.

Educate Eligible Voters: Millions of voters need to register and re-register every year. By utilizing new technology and leveraging cultural partners, we’ll educate more Americans than ever before, bringing new voters into the fold.

Change the Conversation: National Voter Registration Day will be an opportunity to put our differences aside and celebrate the rights that unite us as Americans.

National Voter Registration Day

Project Overview

National Voter Registration Day is managed by a working group of six organizations (APALA Education Fund | Bus Federation Civic Fund | Fair Elections Legal Network League of Women Voters | Nonprofit VOTE | Voto Latino). The project is fiscally sponsored by the Oregon Progress Forum (tax ID: 93-1314754), a 501(c)(3) public charity). Contributions may be sent to:

Oregon Progress Forum

333 SE 2nd Ave

Portland, OR 97212


Engage the Election 2012: A Webinar Series

The American Democracy Project’s partner organization, The Democracy Commitment (TDC) is sponsoring a set of three free webinars in August focused on the 2012 election cycle. I encourage you to participate to learn more about the work of six leading organizations in the voter registration and education community. The webinars will provide resources and ideas for campus programming.

Thank you TDC for including us!

– Jen Domagal-Goldman, ADP National Manager


Webinar Series

Hosted by The Democracy Commitment, the Engage the Election: 2012 webinar series is an opportunity for college and university campuses to learn more about the programs and resources available to them through national organizations including CIRCLE, the League of Women Voters, the Campus Vote Project, and Student PIRGs. The webinars will presente offerings intended to help ADP & TDC campuses in their efforts to reach out and better engage both students on campus and members of the community in the upcoming national election.

We’re very excited for the opportunity to share the work happening with our national partners and how their resources can help you engage your students in the upcoming national election. We have a great lineup the first three Mondays in August.

To download a schedule with webinar summaries, click here. To register for the webinar series, click here. The password to register is: TDCEngage2012

The following are dates for the webinar series and the presenting partner organizations with a summary of their 30-minute webinar.


Monday, August 6, 2012 @ 3:00pm-4:00pm EDT

Fantasy Politics

The webinar will begin with a brief demo of Fantasy Politics, a free and addictive educational game that applies fantasy football dynamics to politics. Then we will go over how this fits into a civics/social studies/government curriculum as well as discuss best practices for driving student engagement well beyond what would be possible with a textbook. Finally, we’ll finish the session with Q&A.

Presenter: Aaron Michel, CEO

Use Your Vote. Raise Our Voice.

The Student PIRGs’ New Voters Project is a non-partisan student mobilization campaign. Since 1984 we’ve helped to register more than 1.7million people. This webinar will talk through our best practices for ensuring your campus registers and turns out on Election Day. For more information on our campaign check out

Presenter: Leigh-Anne Cole, New Voters Project Director


Monday, August 13, 2012 @ 3:00pm-4:00pm EDT

League of Women Voters

The League of Women Voters, a leader in engaging and empowering voters for more than 90 years, is active in 800 communities nationwide and ready to work with community college campuses this fall! From helping out with voter registration drives to providing quality nonpartisan information about candidates and the basics you need to know to help your friends get ready for Election Day, the League stands ready to work together. The webinar will be about the League’s work and ways you can join forces with a local League in your area.

Presenter: Maggie Duncan, Elections Program Manager

Campus Vote Project (CVP)

CVP is a campaign of the Fair Elections Legal Network to help colleges break down barriers to voting that disproportionately affect students. This webinar will summarize specific reforms from the CVP toolkit that a school can implement to get college students the information they need to register and vote. It will also cover important election rules and will describe the state-specific resources CVP can provide to support election awareness, voter registration, and GOTV efforts.

Presenter: Dan Vicuna, Staff Attorney and Campus Vote Project Coordinator


Monday, August 20, 2012 @ 3:00pm-4:00pm EDT

Turbo Vote

TurboVote is a service that makes registering to vote, voting by mail, and never missing an election as easy as renting a netflix DVD.  Over 20 colleges across the country have partnered with TurboVote to provide the service on their campuses.  In this webinar, TurboVote Director of Partnerships Sam Novey will discuss exactly how TurboVote works for both users and institutional partners.

Presenter: Seth Flaxman, Executive Director and Co-founder


TurboVote is a service that makes registering to vote, voting by mail, and never missing an election as easy as renting a netflix DVD.  Over 20 colleges across the country have partnered with TurboVote to provide the service on their campuses.  In this webinar, TurboVote Director of Partnerships Sam Novey will discuss exactly how TurboVote works for both users and institutional partners.

Presenter: Nancy Thomas, Director, Initiatives for the Study of Higher Education and Public Life


To download a schedule with webinar summaries, click here. To register for the webinar series, click here. The password to register is: TDCEngage2012

For more information about Engage the Election: 2012 you can visit TDC’s website under “Initiatives.” You can also engage amongst your colleagues and students on the Engage the Election: 2012 Facebook page.

Please feel free to share this information with anyone on your college campus that you believe would benefit from the information and resources of this series.


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