Voter Engagement: Building Stronger Communities Together

Voter Engagement: Building Stronger Communities Together

This Won’t Bring an HR Complaint

Talking about preparing to vote is not the same as talking about politics. As leaders, we have an obligation to speak positively to our charges about the significance of our vote. Despite all the heated clamor about rigged elections, we will again elect our political leaders in November—at all levels of government.

Addressing Veteran Homelessness

I recently attended a groundbreaking ceremony for a veteran’s village largely funded by Tunnels to Towers, a national non-profit. The veteran homeless challenge is real, and groups like T2T have taken up the challenge with a public goal to create short-term housing for nearly 50,000 veterans and their families nationwide. T2T will impact 5,000 this year alone.

My community partnered with T2T on the local project, and the groundbreaking took place less than two years from the first conversation between community leaders and T2T leaders. The 86-unit apartment building and 28 small independent homes in a village will be complete within a year. The community donated land, T2T does the rest. I raise this example to highlight that it was locally elected leaders who had to buy in on the concept. Elections are about more than the most eye-popping headlines at the national level.

Youth Engagement in Politics

Much is being made about various demographic blocks of our population showing up or not showing up for the November elections.

Anticipated voter turnout by voters under 40 years of age is expected to be a significant factor. According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, voter turnout among young adults (ages 18-29) reached 53% in the 2020 election, which was the highest in at least 25 years. This trend is likely to continue in the upcoming election, with a growing number of young voters expressing interest in participating in the political process. Issues such as climate change, student debt, and social justice have been key motivators for this demographic, with organizations like Rock the Vote reporting increased voter registration and engagement among younger Americans. Campaigns and candidates are increasingly tailoring their messages to resonate with young voters, recognizing the potential impact they could have on the election’s outcome.

The Wall Street Journal and AARP report that older voters vote. Given the emphasis on the age of our two leading presidential candidates, it’s believed those older voters are triggered and will deliver. Historically, older voters turn out. According to data from the US Census Bureau, voters aged 65 and older consistently have one of the highest turnout rates compared to other age groups.

Understanding Voter Behavior

There is a very large body of study that further dissects voting patterns, shifting allegiances, and voter interest or voter apathy. The issues of our day are too diverse and too contentious for me to attempt to analyze your individual workforce’s voting records. But I can encourage you to emphasize the importance of voting in a way that suits your personal leadership style.

With the recent marking of the 80th anniversary of D-Day at Normandy, it’s a good time to appreciate the degree of sacrifice born by those who protected our right to vote, not to mention our way of life.  But you can only vote if you are properly registered to vote. Voter registration is made easier in some states than others. The mechanics of the voting process are purposely governed at the state level, even in federal elections. In these days of widely distributed workforces, you may have employees with very different election registration requirements to complete before November.

Encouraging your people to be prepared to vote, bringing this up a few times over the next 60 days, is entirely appropriate and not a personal infringement or micro-aggression—it’s leadership.

For a copy of my book, Pitching the Big Top: How to Master the 3-Ring® Circus of Federal Sales, and more information on federal sales, visit Capitol Integration.

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