Last Saturday, I became one of the more than 22 million people who have cast their ballot this year. With so much at stake during this election year, voter turnout is crucial.
Voter engagement is also critical to the work conducted by nonprofits like Goodwill®. In a year when Congress has had low-approval ratings and both leading candidates for President are extremely unpopular, it might be easy for the electorate to question the value of voting. I would argue that the return on investment is high, and our friends at NonprofitVOTE agree. Below are a few benefits of voting for individuals and nonprofits included in a series created by NonprofitVOTE.
Benefits for Voters
Active citizenship. Registered voters are more likely to volunteer in their communities and be active and engaged citizens. They are also more likely to talk to elected officials and advocate.
Social connections. Registered voters are suggested to have strong connections with their neighbors and family members. These stronger social connections can lead to a greater quality of life and longevity.
Personal agency. Voting is a form of personal empowerment, giving individuals a chance to voice their opinions.
Benefits for Nonprofits
Increased advocacy efforts. Voter engagement assists in giving nonprofits a seat at the table. Elected officials pay attention to who votes. When nonprofit stakeholders engage, organizations can be given more clout and our issues can be given more attention.
Voting gives power and voice to the people we serve. By encouraging voting, nonprofits can help people become more active and engaged citizens. Nonprofits reach people missed by traditional campaigns, contributing to an electorate that more fully represents the communities we serve.
Additionally, some local Goodwill organizations have incorporated voter engagement and education into their practices via holding voter registration drives, hosting candidate forums and reminding both employees and people they serve of the benefits of voting.
Your vote is a representation of your voice and opens the door for other ways for you to be engaged and create a relationship with your lawmakers. Whether the election turns out the way you wanted or not, you can wear your “I voted” sticker proudly on Tuesday and know that you helped make a difference.