Take Action

You can take a lot of different actions to fight for automatic voter registration. For example, when the Secretary of State organized public hearings for the Oregon New Motor Voter program, the Bus Project turned people out to attend and testify at hearings. They used this signup form, talked about the hearings on their blog here and here, and promoted the hearings on twitter and using a facebook event.

Actions can be as simple as calling your state’s elected officials or as complicated as turning people out to attend a hearing. You could:

  • Call your state legislators or organize a phone banking event;
  • Circulate a petition among members of your community;
  • Send a postcard to your elected officials;
  • And more!

The materials listed below can help you get started taking action in your community.

Remember: we’re here to help. If you’re mobilizing in your state, let us know!

 

Calling Elected Officials

Fill in the blanks below for a script to use when calling state officials (such as state legislators or the offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Secretary of State) and expressing your support for automatic voter registration.

Hello. My name is [Name], from [City/Town]. I’m calling to ask [State Official] to support [Bill #], which will implement an automatic voter registration system in our state. This legislation has the potential to engage thousands of eligible voters, and will minimize registration errors, cut costs, and modernize our state elections. [Bill #] also expands access for communities that often go underserved by turning registration into a gateway for civic engagement, rather than a barrier. Five other states - Oregon, California, West Virginia, Vermont, and Connecticut - have passed automatic voter registration and dramatically increased the number of registered voters. [State Name] must join them in expanding access to our state's democracy and encouraging participation from all citizens in our political process. Thank you.

 

Fill in the blanks below for a script to use when calling state officials (such as state legislators or the offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Secretary of State) to thank them for championing automatic voter registration.

Hello. My name is [Name], from [City/Town]. I’m calling to thank [State Official] for fighting to pass [Bill #], which will implement an automatic voter registration system in our state. As a citizen of [State Name], it is very important to me that everyone in our state has access to our political process, and I appreciate [State Official]'s work to engage thousands of eligible voters, minimize registration errors, cut costs, and modernize our state elections. Automatic voter registration expands access for communities that often go underserved by turning registration into a gateway for civic engagement, rather than a barrier. I encourage [State Official] to continue supporting [Bill #], standing for all the communities in our state, and protecting all our voices in the political process. Thank you.

 

Phone Banking in Your Community

Phone banking is a great way to talk to people in your community about automatic voter registration. Follow these key steps to organize a successful phone bank, and check our sample script below.

  1. Choose a location that has everything you need. Make sure you have access to phones, places to charge mobile phones, materials for keeping track of your calls, and necessities like bathrooms and parking for your volunteers.
  2. Recruit volunteers. They can be your friends, family, and neighbors, people from your church or your workplace - anyone who wants to help protect your state’s democracy! Make sure to send out reminders before the event so they know where and when to show up.
  3. Prepare materials ahead of time. You will need:
    • Call lists: Pull names and phone numbers from petitions you’ve circulated, organizations in your coalition, or groups in your community (i.e. church, parent-teacher associations, etc.).
    • A call script: Fill in the blanks in the sample below for a script that your volunteers can use while making their calls.
    • Snacks! If your location allows it, make sure to bring refreshments for your volunteers.
  4. Help your volunteers get to know each other! Encourage volunteers to introduce themselves and talk about why they are volunteering before you begin.
  5. Keep a record. Write down who you’ve talked to, who supports AVR, and who wants to get involved with the campaign.
  6. Debrief. At the end, take the time to reflect with your volunteers and talk about highs, lows, and ways you can improve.

 

Sample Script: Fill in the blanks below for a script that your volunteers can use while making their calls.

Hi! My name is [Name]. I’m from [City/Town], and I’d like to talk to you about automatic voter registration. Do you know what automatic voter registration is?

Automatic voter registration is a program that allows the [State name] government to register people to vote when they request or renew a license at the DMV. Anyone can opt out of registering or request to be removed from the voter rolls at any time. To make sure our voices are heard, we need to register as many people who are eligible to vote as possible, and automatic voter registration is a cheaper, easier, and more effective system that will help engage more people in our democracy.

Sample questions:

  • Do you support automatic voter registration for [State name]?
  • Would you be interested in joining the fight to pass automatic voter registration in our state?
  • Would you be interested in receiving email or mail updates on our campaign to pass automatic voter registration? [If yes, record contact information]
  • Would you be interested in contributing to our campaign?

 

 

Sample Action Alert

Fill in the blanks below for an email action alert. You can also share action alerts on facebook and link to the alert on twitter.

Subject: ACTION NEEDED: [Action Name]

Body:

Dear [Name/Friend],

Our state's democracy needs you! Join activists from all over [State Name] in the fight for automatic voter registration, a program that allows the [State name] government to register people to vote when they request or renew a license at the DMV. Anyone can opt out of registering or request to be removed from the voter rolls at any time.

At [Time] on [Day of the Week, Month + Date], we are gathering together to [Include a short description of your action, i.e. "attend public hearings to testify on behalf of our communities about the need to expand access to voting for all"]. Together, we can modernize our antiquated election system and transform voter registration from a barrier to a gateway to our state's democracy.

Can we count on you? RSVP today in the form below!

[Link to an online form or survey*]

Forward together, not one step back!

[Organization/Campaign Name]

*Online forms include Google forms, SurveyMonkey surveys, and more. Make sure to ask for names, phone numbers, email addresses, and street addresses, which can be helpful for other actions and petitions, as well as any logistical information you need. For example, if you will be serving food at an event, you should ask for details like preference and dietary restrictions.

Sample Petition

Fill in the blanks below to create a petition for members of your community to sign. Keeping track of contact information from people who have signed your petition can be helpful for organizing other actions, such as events and phone banks.

Remove Barriers to Democracy with Automatic Voter Registration

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to gut the Voting Rights Act, and anti-voter restrictions on the state level, automatic voter registration is a significant step forward in the modernization of our voting registration process. [Bill #] creates a secure and modern registration system to engage every eligible citizen in our democracy. 

This bill would automatically register eligible citizens to vote when they interact with the DMV, and opens the door to expanding the system to other state agencies in the future. 

Similar legislation has already been passed in a diverse range of states like Oregon, California, Vermont, West Virginia, and Connecticut where political leaders are coming together across partisan divides to ensure that voting is accessible. 

We urge our legislators to take a stand for democracy by supporting [Bill #] and bringing automatic voter registration to [State Name]

Signature:

Print Name:         

Phone:         

Email:

Address:

Sample Sign-On Letter

Fill in the blanks to create a sign-on letter for organizations, advocates, and activists to express their solidarity and support for automatic voter registration measures in your state.

Dear [Lawmaker],

We, the undersigned [organizations/constituents], write in support of [Bill #], which provides for Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) through designated government agencies. As organizations dedicated to promoting a fair and accessible democracy, we strongly support passage of this critical piece of legislation. 

AVR takes meaningful strides to modernize voter registration in manners that are robust and inclusive, transforming the voter registration process from a barrier to a gateway of civic engagement. This legislation will add more eligible voters to the rolls and update existing registrations more frequently, giving elections officials a more accurate list.

Five states - Oregon, California, West Virginia, Vermont, and Connecticut - have already passed automatic voter registration and so should [State Name]. This legislation has the potential to engage thousands of new voters while safeguarding the security of the state’s elections processes and cutting down on costs. [Bill #] features many provisions that are considered best practices for enacting and implementing AVR and will position our state as a leader in election modernization and reform.

We urge you to pass [Bill #].

Sincerely,

[List Organizations]

Writing to Elected Officials

Fill in the blanks below for a sample message to a state legislator. When you have finished, handwrite the message, and encourage your friends, neighbors, coworkers, and other members of your community to write their own notes and postcards.

**Collecting and sending handwritten notes or postcards to elected officials is an important tactic for showing legislators that you and your fellow activists feel strongly about passing automatic voter registration and that many of their constituents consider the health of your state’s democracy a priority.**

 

Dear [State Legislator’s Name],

My name is [Name], and I am from [City/Town]. I am writing to ask you to help pass [Bill #], which will implement an automatic voter registration system in our state. Automatic voter registration will help minimize registration errors, cut costs, and modernize our elections. As a citizen of [State Name], it is very important to me that everyone in our state has a voice, and [Bill #] will help ensure that as many eligible people as possible have access to the ballot box.

[Optional: include a personal story about why this issue matters to you!]

Sincerely,

[Signature]