Four years ago, voter turnout was 49 percent -- the highest since 1968. Still, it remains to be seen if voters will come out in droves as they did during the election. To make sure that no avoidable factors -- ranging from intimidation to a lack of a photo ID -- keeps people at home on Nov. 6, five organizations are hitting the ground to do what they can to encourage all groups to get out and cast their ballots.
I Vote Nation
I Vote Nation is using multimedia campaigns to motivate young people to hit the polls. Celebrities, including Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Jessica Sanders, and average youngsters have been submitting blogs, videos, photos and tweets that relate their personal reasons for participating in the election process. Learn more here.
Take Back Tuesday
Election Day falls out in the middle of the work week and the people working over at GOOD have taken it upon themselves to declare Nov. 6 national holiday. They've decided to close their office doors to make sure that every employee has the time to cast their ballot and is encouraging other workplaces to do the same. Learn more here.
Although it may sound simple, but not everyone owns a photo ID. And if a voter doesn't have one handy on Election Day, this can prevent her from casting her ballot. VoteRiders, a nonpartisan group whose mission is to help voters get IDs, works with partner organizations, the media and celebrities to get more people to the ballots. VoteRiders also offsets the costs of obtaining any underlying legal documents, including birth certificates, social security cards, and marriage certificates. Learn more here.
The National Center for Transgender Equality
New voter ID laws could cause 25,000 transgender voters to lose their right to cast their ballots on Nov. 6, according to the Williams Institute. Even if a person’s photo ID doesn’t accurately reflect her gender or current physical appearance, it doesn’t invalidate it. But ignorance or bias on the poll worker’s part, can prevent a transgender person from casting his or her vote. The National Center for Transgender Equality has published a resource that helps the transgender community get prepared for Election Day -- providing a checklist and detailed information on voter rights and identification requirements. Learn more here.
Get Out The Vet
Get Out The Vet, an organization where veterans help register fellow vets and military members overseas send out their ballots, is deploying former Special Operations Force members to patrol poll stations to reduce voter intimidation. According to "Bullies at the Ballot Box," a new report from Common Cause and Demos, intimidators may target voters based on race or ethnicity, and hover over them as they cast their ballots, or even purge voter rolls. Get Out The Vet hopes that stationing servicemen at the poll stations will ward off ballot bullies. Learn more here.