Government Activation Ideas

Government Activation Ideas

With every Vote Early Day celebration, we want to help as many voters as possible take measurable steps toward casting their ballot in a fun and engaging atmosphere. We encourage each of our government partners to design a celebration that best fits the needs of voters in their community while understanding the limited capacity your office has during election season. This guide will help provide some inspiration and suggestions for activation ideas, but how you celebrate is totally up to you!

Celebrate at the Polls

Overview:

Draw people to the polls with a big public celebration! Vote Early Day is a great opportunity to motivate voters to come out to the polls early (reducing traffic on Election Day!) by building a little extra excitement into the act of casting a ballot. You can also go the extra mile and set up a party outside a location for voting early so people can celebrate with their friends and neighbors as they cast their votes. Encourage voters to take selfies with their “I voted” stickers after they vote and tag #VoteEarlyDay to amplify the celebration to a national audience.

Examples:

  • Party at the polls:
    Invite your community to celebrate the act of voting early by partnering with local businesses and nonprofits to throw them a party! Bring in performers, set up games, and pump some music outside your community’s location for voting early or ballot drop box. In the past, organizations have worked with their local election office to put on concerts, hosted picnics and potlucks, and even organized carnival-style festivals outside their locations for voting early. The sky’s the limit – be creative with how you celebrate and get some new voices in to cast a ballot!
  • Polling place red carpet:
    Set up a red carpet at your location for voting early and have voters cast their ballots in style! People can pose for photos and share their experience online (make sure to tag #VoteEarlyDay) to encourage their friends and family to join in on the fun. Invite local community leaders and celebrities to make it a star-studded event.
  • Celebration at a satellite voting location:
    Meet people where they are with a satellite voting location where voters can cast a ballot right in the community! Satellite voting will look different based on election laws in your state, but election offices in the past have set up either ballot drop boxes or locations for voters to receive and cast a ballot directly at local businesses, schools, and nonprofits. On Vote Early Day, partner with local groups to turn this spot into a community celebration. Hold a meet-and-greet with staff from your local election office where voters can get their questions answered, enjoy music and games, and cast their ballot.
  • Trick-or-treat at the polls:
    Vote Early Day is the Friday before Halloween – what better time to throw a Halloween party at the polls? Encourage both staff and voters to come in costumes and have a contest for best and most creatively dressed. Have a station with candy (if allowed by local election laws) and games for kids while the parents cast their ballots.

Goals:

For Vote Early Day celebrations at the polls, we will measure our success nationwide by the number of voters who take one of the following actions: 

  • Cast a ballot during a Vote Early Day event (either in person or with a ballot drop box) 
  • Attend a Vote Early Day celebration
  • Post a photo on social media with their “I voted” sticker and tag #VoteEarlyDay

As you begin to plan out your activation, you can use this worksheet to determine an achievable goal for your organization. 

Why this celebration works:

With a big event, people have a fun reason to come out to vote on Vote Early Day. Instead of being just an item somewhere on their to-do list, voting becomes the highlight of their day! A community celebration is also a low barrier to entry into the civic space for people who are sometimes intimidated by political- and election-related discourse.

Celebrate by Educating Voters

Overview:

Help people both understand their options for voting early and take an active step toward casting their ballot on Vote Early Day! Make voting early more accessible to the public through a fun and educational event or direct voter outreach. 

Examples:

  • Interactive discussion or webinar:
    Put together an informational event about why it is so important for people to make their voices heard this fall, and help the public understand how, when, and where they can vote early. Be creative in recruiting panelists! In addition to your staff, invite community leaders to share their stories and have a conversation with the audience about why this election matters. By the end of the event, direct attendees to your online voter resources or the Vote Early Day voter tool to make sure they have a plan for how they will cast their ballot early.
  • Pitches at community meetings or events:
    Ask for a minute at the start of a community event, meeting, presentation, or concert to remind people to vote early on Vote Early Day. Share why voting is important to you and discuss what’s at stake in this election. By the end of the event, make sure all attendees have made a plan (using your office’s resources or the Vote Early Day online voter tool) for how they will cast their ballot early.

Goals:

For Vote Early Day educational celebrations, we will measure our success nationwide by the number of voters who take one of the following actions: 

  • Make a concrete plan for when and where they will cast their ballot
  • Fill out a pledge that they will cast their ballot early
  • Find their location for voting early (either in person or with a ballot drop box) 
  • Request their absentee ballot

As you begin to plan out your activation, you can use this worksheet to determine an achievable goal for your organization. 

Why this celebration works:

Studies show that people are much more likely to vote if they make a concrete plan for how they’re going to cast their ballot. Vote Early Day celebrations are the perfect opportunity to help voters think through their options for voting early and decide which method works best for them. 

Celebrate by Sharing the Tools to Vote Early 

Overview:

Vote Early Day is here to help with your ongoing outreach to voters in your community! You can use a Vote Early Day celebration to help ensure that voters have the resources they need to cast their ballot early and help make voting early the norm for your community.

Examples:

  • Launch a #VoteEarlyDay social media campaign:
    Give your community the tools they need to vote early by sharing resources on social media. Direct your audience to your office’s online resources or the Vote Early Day online voter tool where they can make a plan to vote. Post across all your social media platforms using our sample social media posts and graphics for the biggest effect.
  • Encourage voters to post their “I Voted” selfies:
    Set up a selfie station outside of the polls (check out our toolkit [link] for inspiration and printable swag!) for voters to show off their new stickers. Encourage your followers to post selfies and then reshare their posts to amplify their message (you can find fun templates and creative ideas in our social media toolkit [link]). Make sure to tag #VoteEarlyDay in all posts!
  • Reach out to the press:
    Anything you do to celebrate voting early is newsworthy! Put out a media advisory, hold a press conference, or write a letter to the editor to let your community know about your plans to celebrate Vote Early Day. Include a link to the voter tool on the Vote Early Day website to make it easy for your audience to make a plan to vote.

Goals:

For Vote Early Day celebrations that share tools to vote early, we will measure our success nationwide by the number of voters who take one of the following actions: 

  • Make a concrete plan for when and where they will cast their ballot
  • Find their location for voting early (either in person or with a ballot drop box) 
  • Request their absentee ballot
  • Post a photo with their “I voted” sticker and tag #VoteEarlyDay

As you begin to plan out your activation, you can use this worksheet to determine an achievable goal for your organization. 

Why this celebration works:

Studies show that people are much more likely to vote if they make a concrete plan for how they’re going to cast their ballot. When you share Vote Early Day’s online voter tool, you make it easy for voters to make this plan. 

People are also more inclined to vote if they see that their friends and family are doing so as well. By encouraging the people who follow you on social media to share their voting experience online, you help create a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) for anyone who hasn’t yet joined in on the fun. 

If you have encountered a problem with voting, please call this national nonpartisan hotline: 866-OUR-VOTE.