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It’s time to ‘voterize’ your human service agency

The Providers’ Council is encouraging members to be active in “voterizing” nonprofit stakeholders during this election season, starting by taking part in National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, Sept. 27.

Research has shown that nonprofits succeed in voter engagement efforts and help increase voter turnout on Election Day among historically disenfranchised populations such as low income and minority communities, individuals with disabilities and younger people.

The Council and The Caring Force recently hosted a member-exclusive voter engagement webinar with partners Nonprofit VOTE and MassVOTE, “Voterize Your Human Service Agency,” to provide tips and tools for agencies in advance of the Nov. 8 elections.

Massachusetts voters will decide four key ballot questions, a host of local races, and all state House and Senate seats in addition to voting for president. The deadline to register to vote in this year’s election is Wednesday, Oct. 19.

Some key takeaways from the webinar include:

  • Nonprofits in Massachusetts cannot endorse or donate to candidates for office, but they CAN take public positions on ballot questions;
  • Persons who are under guardianship may still vote unless there is a separate court order indicating they are not competent;
  • Voters can have anyone with them when casting a ballot except their employer or union representative;
  • Individuals who have been incarcerated are eligible to vote in Massachusetts and can be registered to vote upon release;
  • Undocumented residents are NOT eligible to vote, but can still help with voter engagement and get-out-the-vote efforts by encouraging their family, friends and colleagues who are U.S. citizens.

Voter registration and engagement resources are available on the Providers’ Council’s Care Vote website, at nonprofitvote.org and massvote.org. Online voter registration can be done on the Massachusetts Secretary of State website.

If you have questions about voter engagement, please e-mail Christine Batista or call 617.428.3637, x124.