Be an Informed Voter

By Laura Walling, Senior Director of Government Relations, Goodwill Industries International

At the time of this writing, the Republican National Convention (RNC) is wrapping up. The RNC came on the heels of the Democratic National Convention (DNC), which convened last week. While there were stark contrasts between the way the two parties approached the events, there are also many differences in their policy platforms. Thomas Jefferson once wrote that a well-informed electorate is a prerequisite to democracy, and we encourage you to read through the priorities and platforms that were unveiled during the conventions.

The RNC opted to retain its 2016 national platform, stating the party would not adopt a new platform because “it did not want a small contingent of delegates formulating a new platform without the breadth of perspectives within the ever-growing Republican movement.” The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the cancellation of a meeting of the platform committee and fewer delegates attending the convention in person. President Donald Trump recently released a bulleted list of 50 core priorities for a second term in office, noting that his administration would create 10 million jobs in 10 months.

The DNC platform also focuses on jobs — clean energy jobs in particular — and touts support for community college and apprenticeship programs. Joe Biden’s campaign is developing its own strategy, should he be elected in November. His policy committee was told to focus all their efforts on developing plans focused on COVID-19 and recovery for the first half of 2021.

Goodwill® organizations are 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofits and do not endorse any candidate for office.  We stand ready to work with policymakers at all levels to help advance our policy priorities, and we will be announcing our policy agenda for the next Congress later this year. While charitable nonprofit organizations like Goodwill cannot engage in activities in support or opposition of candidates for public office, they can and do promote nonpartisan voter registration and get-out-the-vote activities, and they raise the public’s awareness of critical ballot measures.

Many local Goodwill organizations are community partners for #NationalVoterRegistrationDay, hosting voter registration drives and raising awareness on social media platforms around the importance of voting. We encourage you to visit to check the status of your registration and review the election deadlines, dates and rules for your state.