Election Days Advocacy 


Leslie Barnes, Tim Mooney, Victor Rivera Labiosa


On this episode, we tackle election days advocacy. We intentionally say “days” since many states offer vote by mail or early in-person voting well before election day. This means that voting doesn’t just happen on election day itself, even though the election is on November 8th this year. We talked about the role nonprofits can play leading up to this period a few weeks ago — on this episode we talk about their big role in helping people vote during this “election days” period.  

Our Attorneys for This Episode:

Leslie Barnes Victor Rivera Labiosa Tim Mooney

Why should 501(c)(3)s do this work? 

  • 501(c)(3)s are trusted messengers.   
  • Educate your community and constituents about their different voting options.  

Rules for nonpartisan voter engagement 

  • No supporting/opposing candidates 
  • Other rules will vary by states and sometimes even counties 

Types of nonpartisan voter engagement on “voting days” 

  • Voter education 
    • What to expect going to the polls 
    • Polling locations  
    • Proper document/ID required for voting 
    • Vote by mail education or absentee voting  
    • Setting expectations for results
  • GOTV 
    • Facilitate voting by offering rides to polls (ex. Souls to the Polls) but check state laws. 
    • Absentee voting, line warming, what can be worn inside polling places 
    • Providing childcare or identify childcare services 
    • Translation of voting materials for non-English readers.  
    • Social media messaging 
    • Text banking, etc. etc. 
  • Election protection 
    • Provisional ballots 
    • Be a poll worker, poll monitor or staff voter protection hotlines in your community.  
    • 866-OUR-VOTE is probably the most well-known election hotline in the NP community. 
    • Educate on misinformation and voter intimidation.  
  • Litigation  
  • Mobilize public support for safe and fair election 

 Private Foundations 

  • Private Foundations can fund all nonpartisan efforts (except you cannot earmark funds for voter registration drives without complying with additional rules)  
    • Election protection litigation 
    • Poll monitoring 
    • Rides to the polls 
    • Supporting poll workers for everything they need on election days.  
    • Voter education messaging  

Partisan work 

  • 501(c)(4)s-can do everything a c3 can do + they could do one of these activities in a partisan manner.