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Acknowledgement: We want to thank Smart Girl Politics for their extensive research and work in documenting Voter Registration best practices. It was extremely helpful in helping us compile this document.

 When Register

  • Year round
  • At least once or twice a month
  • Typically, Voter registration applications must be received by the county voter registrar thirty days before an election in order to vote in that election
  • Closer to elections, it’s best to check your state’s deadlines for voter registrations.

      Our research to date suggests that voter registration is only effective if performed in the context of a comprehensive neighborhood / precinct organizing strategy. See video from the left as affirmation, by clicking on this  sentence link.

      In the statistical analyses book, Get Out The Vote - How To Increase Voter Turnout, the two Yale Professor authors indicate that no studies exist to address the effectiveness for registering voters to gain additional votes in elections. We had the CEO of one of the main voter registration software tools indicate that seventy-percent of newly registered voters actually end up voting, but he was unable to provide substantiating evidence for this remarkable claim, nor was it corroborated in our interviews with two volunteers who used the software.

      Net, voter registration by itself is ineffective, despite what some anecdotal evidence might suggest! We need statistical proof, but none appears to exist! The left appears to have figured this out some time ago. Apparently, that’s why they decided they needed Golden Week in which they can register voters and get them to vote, all at the same time. 

      If you chose to pursue Voter Registration Drives, such as in communities-of-faith, make sure to obtain contact information for the necessary, subsequent follow-up prior to the actual election. A volunteer must contact the newly registered voter to inform them of absentee ballot opportunities, early voting opportunities, and finally to assure that they indeed voted on Election Day.

      Where Register

      • As part of door-to-door “Block Walking” with “Voter Records” or “Walk-Lists” to grow your organization, update / enhance “Voter Record” information, or to Get-Out-The-Vote for elections.
      • Churches
      • Events: Tea Party Rallies, Sporting Events, Gun Shows, Music Festivals, PTO meetings, Naturalization Ceremonies, check newspapers for events
      • Fairs: Farmer’s markets, Craft Fairs, check newspapers for fairs
      • Stores: Grocery Stores, Malls, Feed Stores, Gas Stations, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Lowes
      • “New Movers” into your neighborhood or housing developments
      • Obtain permission from management
        • Always ask the management for permission. In many states you have a legal right to conduct Voter Registrations and laws usually prohibit charging for the right to obtain new voter registrants.
        • Start by introducing yourself to management and asking them how you can get on their calendar to set up for voter Registration for a few hours one day. Assure them that you will not impede traffic and that you simply want to provide a community service. Accommodate their requests of where to set up and assure them that you will be courteous to patrons. Ask them to give you a chance.
        • Be courteous and respectful. Be courteous with the venue’s patrons. Be a gracious guest, leave on time, and leave the area trash free.
        • Once finished, make sure to thank management for the opportunity and set up another time on their calendar to repeat the Voter Registration at a later date.
      • You will be amazed at how many people will thank you for making the effort and taking the time to conduct the Vote Registration drive.

      Voter Registration Table Supplies
       (Including petitions, political education material, political fact sheets, etc.)

      • The Voter Registration table can be a venue for voter education
      • Light weight portable table, so can store in car trunk and set up quickly, and a couple of chairs.
      • Signs for petitions for which you might be gathering signatures.  Also signs with “Have you moved recently? Re-register to vote here!”
        • Will gain attention and once folks approach, you can ask them if they are registered voters.
        • If not, voila, a new voter! Helps minimize chance of registering new voters for the opposition.
        • Remind them that each time they move, change their name, or change party affiliation they have to re-register. (Depends on your state.)
      • Any clever prop to attract attention for the table, e.g. cardboard cut-out of Sarah Palin.
      • Voter Registration forms
      • Voter Registrations on clip boards
      • Pens
      • Absentee Voter or Mail-in Ballot Forms to request absentee or mail-in ballots. These can be taken home, filled out, and sent in by the requester. Make sure to pick up sufficient forms at the Board of Elections.
      • Petitions on clip boards
      • Fact sheets on political issues, legislation, or action alerts to educate public
      • Paper weights, such as rocks, to keep on all the forms and flyers
      • Have County Clerk/ Registrar’s office phone number to share with voters.
      • Cell phone number of experienced Voter Registration contact person(s)



      • Make sure volunteers are trained – in groups or individually before starting actual registration
      • In some states, such as Ohio, all volunteers who register new voters have to become “Certified Deputy Registrars” – must be non-partisan!
        • Have the County Clerk’s office schedule a thirty minute training and certification session
        • The County Clerk’s office will provide voter registration forms and a “Deputy Voter Registrar” number.
      • You may want to contact like minded conservative organizations who have experience conducting Voter Registration drives for help preparing and training your volunteer


      Voter Registration Forms

      • Obtain large quantities of Registration forms at the County Board of Elections/ County Clerk/ Registrar’s Office
        • Inform them that you are a member of a volunteer organization who will be pursuing registration drives
        • They may require you to complete a distribution form (depends on state). On it you will need to indicate that you are a volunteer, are familiar with the voter registration laws, and where you are planning to conduct registration drives.
      • Obtain the instruction sheet for How to Properly Complete the Voter Registration Card. This information is also typically available on the Secretary of State’s website for your state.
      • Also familiarize yourself with likely errors made on Voter Registrations and most common questions new registrants might ask. This information can be obtained either by asking at the Board of Election etc. or by going to the Secretary of State website.
      • Forms must be completed by new registrants legibly and correctly. It assures that all fields are filled in if the spaces are highlighted by volunteers beforehand. Voter Registration volunteers should double check each form, once completed.
      • At large rallies or venues, which may draw voters from many counties or even accross state lines, make sure you have correct Voter Registration forms for each of the locations. Some states have different Voter Registration forms for each county.


      Handling Completed Voter Registration Forms

      • Assure that the Voter Registration form is filled out completely and legibly. Forms can be refused even for a single mistake, such as being incomplete, illegible, or entries are crossed out. Make sure the form is signed.
      • As the person doing the registration, in some states you may be required to enter information on the Registration Forms, such as your name, phone number, and signature. Some organizations use an ink signature stamp for this purpose. Do not pre-stamp unfilled forms beforehand.
      • In some states, you will need to detach a receipt from the bottom of the form and hand it to the new registrant. Inform the new registrant to keep the receipt until they are informed by the County Clerk or Registrar that they are registered to vote.
      • At the Voter Registration table, store all completed forms in a safe place. Do not leave them unattended.
      • Depending on the state, the Voter Registration must be submitted, either by mail or dropped off at the Registrar’s Office, within a certain number of days. For example, in California it’s three days.
      • Focus on registering like-minded conservative new voters. Selection of venue can increase the probability of encountering these conservative folks, but you may at times have to deal with big-government liberals who want to register to vote. When you do encounter them, remember that you are only obligated to give everyone who asks a Voter Registration form. You are not obligated to assume responsibility for submitting it to the Board of Elections. You can instead simply hand the completed Voter Registration form to the big-government liberal and request that they submit it themselves to the Board of Elections. Be sure not to place any of your organization’s information on the form, in which case you would have assumed responsibility to submit it to the Board of Elections.


      • It’s against federal law to give anything away of value in exchange for a registration at your table. You can distribute educational fliers.
      • It’s ok to discuss politics, but do not engage in heated political discussions. Just smile and politely end the conversation with big government liberals. They will go away.
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