Expanding the Franchise:

How the Right Question Strategy can turn non-voters into new voters

I see that if I don’t vote, then other people are going to keep making decisions for me. This, at least, gives me a chance to have a say in who’s going to be making those decisions.

-Adult learner in a literacy program, Indiana

 

Voting rates among low-income Americans are the lowest of all population groups. Traditional voter engagement efforts have barely moved the needle. 

We are ready to change that. At RQI, we have learned from people in low-income communities around the country about the obstacles to their participating in decisions that affect them. They have named what is stopping them from voting: They do not feel their voice matters, and they do not see the connection between their lives and the decisions elected officials make.

The unique, nonpartisan, and scalable Right Question Voter Engagement Initiative offers an educational strategy designed to increase voting rates for the long term.

The Right Question Strategy helps people learn to ask their own questions, participate more effectively in decisions, and see connections between services they receive and decisions made by elected officials. We have seen over and over again the transformative effect of the strategy, as it allows people to develop a sense of agency and see for themselves the value of voting.

The Right Question Strategy can be used in many settings: with individuals in one-on-one social service contexts, in workshops, or in group-learning experiences. It is a free, simple, and powerful way to bring more people into the voting booth.

Our democracy urgently needs to hear the voices of people who have traditionally not voted.

You can join our effort and become a democracy builder!

Overview of Free Resources for the Right Question Voter Engagement Initiative

Not sure how to get started with the voter engagement resources offered here? Read me first.

Question Formulation Technique (QFT): Build the Skill of Asking Questions

These resources will prepare you to use the Question Formulation Technique (QFT) with people you work with to build a foundational skill: asking your own questions.

Voice in Decisions Technique (VIDT): Have a Voice in Decisions that Affect You

These resources will get you ready to use the Voice in Decisions Technique (VIDT) with people you work with to build their skill of participating effectively in decisions.

[Video] Our Babies’ Health – A Story by Laura Felix

Laura Felix shares her fight for her baby’s health and asks questions about decisions that affect all babies’ health. This…

[Video] One Number Can Count – A Story by Angela Perron

Angela Perron shares how the decisions elected officials make have an impact on services and how voting can make a…

[Video] How the Heart Was Touched – A Story by Steve Hupp

Steve Hupp shares his journey through his health challenge and how the choices the government makes plays a role. This…

[Video] You Can Change – A Story by Esther Mullanex

Esther Mullanex shares how decisions elected officials make affect adult education. This video is part of a narrative series created…

Discovering the Value of Voting and Having a Voice, from Arizona to Pennsylvania

Teachers in adult education programs in many states across the country (Arizona, New Mexico, Missouri, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire) serving…

The Lasting Value of the Voter Engagement Strategy for Election Day and Beyond

We have a guest blogger on the Microdemocracy Blog. Nathalie Alegre immigrated from Peru with her family when she was 17 years old.…

Teaching the RQP Civic Engagement Strategy and Learning Lifelong Skills in a Women’s Prison

Sheila teaches adult education at the county jail in Wilmington Indiana. Her courses are the only education inmates get while…

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I was always trying to figure out how to get my students to see why they should vote, but I never had an effective way for doing it. The Right Question Strategy is amazing. It works like magic. It gets them to see on their own why voting is important.

I can use what I learned to participate in community decisions and in all daily aspects of my life.

I see that if I don’t vote, then other people are going to keep making decisions for me. This, at least, gives me a chance to have a say in who’s going to be making those decisions.

I thought about things that never would have crossed my mind. I really want to vote now and I feel much better prepared to vote!

I learned that my opinion counts.

Events

Catalyze Democratic Participation in New Ways:
Our Vision of Microdemocracy

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Discover how teaching effective participation skills to people using social services can lead to traditional democratic action such as voting

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You’ll also get access to hundreds of free resources that will help you easily move into action to learn a strategy one day and facilitate the very next.

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