Voter turnout among low-income residents and renters is key to advancing affordable housing solutions—and a new study by Nonprofit Vote confirms the critical role that nonprofits play in turning out voters to the polls. The report, Engaging New Voters: 2018, found voters contacted by nonprofits are 11 percentage points more likely to vote than those not contacted.
The results underscore the importance of nonprofits doing voter engagement work—and the payoff is bigger when nonprofits engage groups with historically low voter turnout:
- 66% of people who were contacted by nonprofits and who signed voter-registration cards, made pledges to vote, or filled out vote-by-mail applications actually voted. That compares with a 55% turnout rate among people in comparable demographics.
- Asian, latino and black voters contacted by nonprofits vote at rates 13-16 percentage points higher than those who were not contacted; those under 25 turned out to vote at 20 percentage points higher.
- Voters contacted by nonprofits were twice as likely to be nonwhite, twice as likely to have an annual household income of less than $30,000, and nearly three times as likely to be under 25 years old. Among each of those groups, people voted at a higher rate after being contacted by a nonprofit.
A Chronicle of Philanthropy’s article on the study summarizes its main take-away: “Nonprofits Have the Power to Produce Big Gains in Voter Turnout.” To raise the profile of affordable housing in upcoming elections, nonprofits should engage in more nonpartisan voter registration, education, and mobilization with low-income renters because these efforts matter.
Nonprofit Vote will increase its efforts during the current election cycle and is establishing partnerships with more national groups, including NLIHC. Our Homes, Our Votes: 2020, NLIHC’s nonpartisan voter and candidate engagement project, is committed to supporting state and local nonprofits’ voter engagement work. Our new Tool Kit has all the resources a nonprofit needs for visioning, planning and implementing a voter engagement and turnout project.
Read Nonprofit Vote’s full report at: https://bit.ly/2WDYqdk