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!

The “Why Vote?” Tool

Use this resource to engage potential new voters. Through this process, participants think about connections between services they receive and decisions elected officials make, and they see for themselves the value of voting.

Voter Engagement Workshop: Asking the Right Questions About Voting

Use these presentation slides in a group setting to facilitate a voter engagement workshop using the Right Question Strategy.

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

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I don’t think I have ever had a student who have voted before, except maybe voting for homecoming queen or teacher of the year. Other than that they never voted in an election to the city council, the school board or anything else… After doing the workshop many students gained an appreciation voting is a right and is an important freedom… had quite a few that actually voted. They come back really proud. They went to the county elections and voted for the school board. It actually makes a difference.

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 learned that my opinion counts.

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!

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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