Download a PDF of Increasing Motivation and Determination to Vote: The Right Question Institute’s “Why Vote?” Initiative at the bottom of this page.
In 2020, the Right Question Institute (RQI) tested a nonpartisan model for voter engagement and education that helps fill a gap in the voter-activation landscape.
By focusing on having people discover for themselves the value of voting, RQI’s “Why Vote?” Initiative demonstrated a unique way to strengthen people’s motivation and determination to vote.
RQI shared free “Why Vote?” resources with staff and volunteers from more than 250 organizations across 38 states — including organizations such as the League of Women Voters, Nonprofit VOTE, and Spread the Vote. In particular, RQI’s two-page “Why Vote?” Tool provided an easy, scalable, adaptable method for engaging new voters.
This brief report includes six examples of people and organizations that used RQI’s “Why Vote?” resources to meet their unique voter engagement and education efforts. These examples show how people on the ground and in classrooms around the country quickly recognized the tool as a valuable resource for mobilization, outreach, relational organizing, and civic education efforts to promote greater voter participation in low-income communities.
In their own words
“We were able to help people really interrogate: What’s important to me? Why do I need to show up? What’s at stake for me if I don’t show up?” — DJ Sims, Georgia Justice Project, Atlanta
“The ‘Why Vote?’ Tool gave our organizers a way to engage more deeply with communities about voting and civic engagement, bringing a deeper understanding of the barriers that folks from marginalized communities often face when voting.” — Alex McHenry, Community Resource Center, Denver
“I felt overwhelmed and humbled. I did not expect over ten percent of the students to convince new eligible voters to cast ballots one week before the election.” — Johnny Walker, PUC Triumph Charter High School, Los Angeles
“Before [RQI’s] webinar I felt that I didn’t have the tools and knowledge to have these types of conversations. I felt more empowered after I learned about the tool.” — Julia Sosa, United Parent Leaders Action Network, Los Angeles
“All of these candidates — from the president to the county attorney — will be making decisions that could have a major impact on our lives. Students understand this at a surface level, but the ‘Why Vote?’ Tool helped make this knowledge real and personal.” — Joshua Beer, Fall Mountain Regional High School, New Hampshire
“The tool asks why and really builds a sense of confidence, responsibility, and collaboration among adult learners. Especially for refugees and immigrants who are often told what to do by authorities — this tool supports them to make their own decisions and teaches them that their decisions are important and valid.” — Keighty Ward, Literacy Works, Chicago
Download the whole report below.
- RQI Why Vote Initiative Report 2021 [ english ]