Election Advocacy

Election Advocacy

Election season is the perfect opportunity to get policymakers to notice your issues.  When campaigning for election, or re-election, candidates are very aware of what the public has to say.  If you can draw attention to your issues, you can accomplish a number of advocacy goals at once.  Informing everyone on your issues and urging fellow citizens to only vote for those candidates who support your issues is very effective advocacy.  One thing to remember if you are a 501(c)(3) status non-profit organization – your efforts must be non-partisan.

There are many broad kinds of activities that fall under the heading of election advocacy:

  • Increasing candidate awareness about your issues
  • Convincing candidates to publicly agree to doing things about your issues
  • Focusing the public on your issues, especially if they are not often discussed
  • Informing the public about where the candidates stand on your issues
  • Increasing candidate awareness of your organization/coalition, if you are part of one

Specific ways to go about election advocacy that are often successful include:

  • Helping organizations register voters and conduct polls prior to elections
  • Questioning candidates on your issues at public debates and other appearances
  • Preparing questions for friends and coworkers to ask at public debates and other appearances
  • Making sure everyone you talk to knows the facts about the candidates
  • Using the media to draw candidates to local events
  • Informing others about ballot initiatives
  • Collecting signatures for ballot initiatives that support your issues
  • Writing and calling candidates who are elected to hold them to their campaign promises