Engage voters in low-income communities with the “Why Vote?” Tool

Even in high-turnout national elections, a third of eligible voters in the United States do not participate. Voter turnout correlates directly with socioeconomic status, and as a result, the people furthest from power often have the least say in decisions that affect their lives.

If you work or volunteer with a direct services agency, non-profit organization, community-based organization, public library system, or a voter engagement effort that works in low-income communities, you can use RQI’s nonpartisan “Why Vote?” Tool to start conversations and strengthen people’s motivation and determination to vote. 

The tool is a way for people to name for themselves the value of voting. It allows people to explore connections between public services that are important to them, decisions made by elected officials, and voting. It provides opportunities for people to ask questions and make plans in connection to voting.

Getting started

The “Why Vote?” Tool is a nonpartisan two-page resource that is simple and practical to use, with step-by-step instructions geared toward people being able to name for themselves the value of voting. It provides space for people to ask their own questions about voting and find more information about how to vote. This short video describes each step of the tool. It’s a great way to familiarize yourself with the tool before using it. Below is a longer 20-minute instructional video that talks in more depth about how to effectively use the “Why Vote?” Tool within your community.


Video instructions

This 20-minute interactive module will introduce you to the “Why Vote?” Tool and accompanying resources and how to use it in your context and community. You’ll need about 30 minutes and something to write with to get started. After watching this video, the best next step is to jump straight in and start using the tool!


These webinars from previous elections provide a good introduction to the “Why Vote?” strategy and on-the-ground examples of how organizers and groups have used the tool in their own communities.

“Why Vote?” Cincinnati

“Why Vote?” Georgia


Interactive 'Why Vote?' Tool

If you’re working with people remotely instead of face-to-face, you can use this online, interactive version of the “Why Vote?” Tool:


Success stories

Learn how other groups and organizations have used the “Why Vote?” Tool to engage people in their community and increase people’s motivation and determination to vote.

Recursos en español | Spanish resources

Aquí encontrará versiones en español de materiales para utilizar la herramienta “¿Por Qué Votar?” Aceda a la versión en español de la herramienta, la guía del usuario, la explicación en video, y la versión de la herramienta para involucrar a los jóvenes. Además, podrá leer esta entrevista con Julia Sosa, una madre líder en Los Ángeles con la organización United Parent Leaders Action Network (UPLAN) y otras organizaciones.

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