We celebrate national holidays and observances from Thanksgiving to National Cat Day, but what about a holiday where people participate in one of our nation’s most fundamental processes? According to the U.S. Census Bureau and FairVote, about half of voting age population has turned out to vote in the last decade. This could be due to lack of registration or an inability to get to the polls. Pew Research Center compared turnout rates for the 34 countries that are part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and found that the United States ranks 31st in voter turnout. While a recent Change.org petition is hoping to make Election Day a national holiday, multifamily communities can do their part to encourage voter registration and increase voter turnout.
The second and third presidential debates are upon us, but more importantly, voter registration deadlines are also drawing nearer. On October 11th, 14 states have deadlines for voter registration. If your state’s deadline hasn’t passed, consider organizing a Presidential Debate Watch Party for your residents on Sunday. While they are there, remind and encourage them to register to vote. If that seems like too quick of a turnaround, consider having registration forms available in the leasing office and offer it to residents who come in to pick up packages, put in work orders, pay rent, or just chat. If your renters are in the millennial demographic, there are a variety of ways to engage them.
You can register to vote right from your mobile phone using HelloVote, a new chat bot that will assist you in completing your voter registration form. All you have to do is enter your phone number on the site — or text HELLO to 384-387 . There’s also an option to engage with this bot using Facebook Messenger. “We believe voting should be as easy and accessible as possible,” the HelloVote.com explained. “HelloVote makes the process of registering to vote as easy as possible, by removing all the barriers. It’s fast. It’s 100 percent nonpartisan. You don’t need a printer. You don’t need a computer. You don’t need stamps for mailing things. You don’t even need a smartphone – any cellphone will work! With so much at stake in the upcoming election, it’s crucial that every eligible voter shows up and casts their ballot in November.”
If you rather register via a computer, simply head over to vote.usa.gov and enter in your information to confirm if you’re eligible to vote, verify if you’re registered, and get the details on the processes you have to go through to register.
The second presidential debate is on Sun, Oct. 9 and the third presidential debate Wed, Oct. 19. Use this time to gather your residents together regardless of the side they are on. At the very least, they can enjoy Presidential Debate Bingo courtesy of the Vox. Every time one of the candidates mentions a subject or quote, fill in the square. The resident to complete their’s first, wins a prize.