Voter Engagement Terms

Voter Registration: Voter registration is helping people register to vote or update their voter registration. Voters may register by mail, in-person, or online. Many states also allow voters to register on Election Day and during early voting. Others require registration up to 30 days in advance of the election.

Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV): Get-out-the-vote activities before the election come in many forms. The more personal, the more effective they are. They can involve:

-Contacting voters about the election through social media, texts, at public events, or any nonprofit service or activity.

-Campaign-style GOTV using voter lists to canvass, mail, or make calls in the final weeks of election. H Voter assistance that answers questions can also increase citizens’ likelihood to vote.

Voter Education: Voter education has two categories. One is learning about the process of voting. The other
is what’s on the ballot. Process information includes where, when, and how to vote or to register or update your registration. For example, when’s early voting or what do voters need to be able to vote? What’s on the ballot is learning about the candidates, ballot measures, and issues at stake.

Candidate Engagement: Common activities are candidate forums, candidate questionnaires, inviting candidates to events, sharing policy research, or asking questions at their events. It’s about raising the profile of your organization, developing relationships with future office holders, and educating candidates about issues important to your community.

Issue Advocacy: Speaking out in support or opposition to policies is issue advocacy. For the purposes of this election-related toolkit, it includes taking a position for or against ballot measures (considered a lobbying activity) and continuing issue advocacy during an election cycle.

Voter Engagement: The broad term that’s used to include any type of election activity, from voter registration and voter education to getting-out-the-vote and offering voter assistance.

Civic Engagement: Any type of civic action or engagement from voting, advocacy, and community organizing to volunteering or civic education, or any way of being active participants in building and strengthening
their communities.