More Efficient Strategies to Turn Out Under-Represented Voters in Berkeley


To address the dismal 30 percent turnout of Berkeley voters of all ages and 8 percent turnout of young Berkeley voters 18 to 24 years old in 2014, the Voter Services Team has been soliciting advice and support from teachers, administrators and students in the Berkeley Unified School District on strategies for boosting voting.

To help register Berkeley voters, we are organizing three projects: 1) Voter registration forms will be delivered to Berkeley High School Social Studies teachers so that, at their convenience, they may be able to supervise completion of the forms by students who will be 18 by election day. League members will collect and deliver forms to the Alameda County Registrar. 2) We will take advantage of the upcoming Berkeley High orientation sessions at King, Longfellow and Willard Middle Schools for parents of 9th grade students. LWVBAE Voter Services Team will distribute voter registration forms. 3) Parents of elementary school students will be able to register to vote at each of Berkeley’s elementary schools during or after school events in the spring.

Getting Out the Vote (GOTV) – the second essential step in improving turnout – will be challenging. Among the options being considered are:

1) low cost social media campaigns
2) higher cost catchy visuals in BART stations and on AC Transit buses, and
3) publicity on radio stations and in newspapers

We also plan to work with groups of young people at Berkeley High, Berkeley City College and UCB and with other community organizations on joint election projects.

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