Get Out The Vote campaigns are a certainty in a US federal election year and doubly so every four years, when either a new or incumbent US president is elected.
With a such divisive and dare-we-say nasty US election cycle this time around, these campaigns are probably more important than ever. Even the most dedicated voter can be swayed that “their one vote doesn’t matter”, especially with so much intense media scrutiny over the last year.
But low voter turnout is a huge problem in a country with a long democratic history spanning 240 years, which speaks to the rising numbers of disenfranchised, uninformed or uninterested citizens.
While political operatives obviously want their candidates and parties to win, Get Out The Vote campaigns run by non-partisan organizations like the League of Women Voters or Rock the Vote generally aim to transcend all the sound and fury. Instead, they call on those eligible to vote, regardless of political party, to exercise their civic right to do so.
Get Out The Vote campaigns require grassroots organizing, detailed planning, lots of boots on the ground and plenty of grit. Design, naturally, has a part to play too.
Since 1998, AIGA’s Design for Democracy has aimed to use design thinking to increase civic engagement, using diverse projects like ballot redesigns and—every four years—campaigns like Get Out The Vote.