Urge Your Neighbor to Vote
The Thurston County Auditor’s Office and Timberland Regional Library are launching the Urge Your Neighbor to Vote Challenge.
"We're asking election-holding jurisdictions to challenge their voters to help their neighbors vote," said Mary Hall, Thurston County Auditor. "Voter participation often declines in local elections because voters feel less informed than in higher-profile elections."
"Local voters, who are frequent voters and the most well-informed, often have the best information about local issues and candidates. We want to use that knowledge to increase voter turnout in our community," said Cheryl Heywood, Director of the Timberland Regional Library. "By encouraging frequent voters to host social events and inform their friends and neighbors about the issues and candidates on the ballot, we hope to make voting more accessible and engaging for everyone."
The Auditor’s Office and the Library District have compiled toolkits that regular voters can use to plan low-pressure activities to engage their neighbors. Ballot Party Kits will be available starting October 18 at the Olympia, West Olympia, Lacey, Hawks Prairie, Tumwater, and Tenino branches of the Timberland Regional Library. “One of the most fun and useful things voters can do is hold a ballot party,” Hall said. “These events are fun and a great way to share information and walk-through filling out the ballot.”
“This challenge is about helping people vote who might not otherwise, not trying to get them to vote any particular way,” Heywood said.
To participate in the challenge, frequent voters can host social events to assist infrequent voters in filling out their ballots and submitting them. The Auditor’s Office is requesting that jurisdictions in the general election pass a resolution honoring National Voter Registration and officially joining the challenge. Participants can record their activities via an online form at the Thurston County website (ThurstonWaVotes.gov).
The jurisdiction with the highest voter turnout per registered voter will be announced after Election Day, November 7th. "We are excited to see the community come together to help their neighbors become informed and engaged in the voting process," said Hall. "We believe that this campaign can make a real difference in increasing voter turnout and strengthening civic participation in Thurston County."
Visit the Thurston County website at ThurstonWaVotes.gov for more information about the Help Your Neighbor Vote challenge, including guides for hosting a ballot party or other social events.