Hi there,

Let’s play a game: Imagine you live in a country where voting is mandatory. Imagine you have to vote in every single election. How would this affect you and those you know? Would you be having the same conversations — and conflicts — about voting?

In Peru, where I come from, there is no voluntary voting system. If you don’t vote, you get a fine: $23 if you live in a district classified as “not poor,” $12 if “poor”, and $6 if “extremely poor”. Since at least 30% of Peru’s 33 million people is poor, this could be a legitimate reason for making voting voluntary. However, required voting is not something that people question. It is an issue that does not enter the public debate.

The fact is that many other issues arise front and center by eliminating the variable of convincing people to vote. People from different backgrounds describe feeling empowered by required voting: candidates must appeal to all communities and regions, realizing that every vote counts. Voting day is always on a Sunday, to make it easier for people to vote. For me, the day flows like a massive celebration of democracy, no matter the results… and polling station members get the next Monday off from work!

Of course, the system could be much better. Many other factors compound its several flaws. Yet still, this comparison makes me wonder what would happen if voting in the US — a country that often considers itself the oldest democracy* — was compulsory (check out these experts’ take on how much it would help, courtesy of the Brennan Center).

I hope that in this election, US citizens can reflect on how voting is an action that — whether voluntary or mandatory — gives people real power to shape a collective future. And how it is up to every citizen not only to seize this opportunity but to make sure others have it too.

Happy Election Day,

* The Iroquois and the Faroese might beg to differ!

Unstoppable Voters Inspiring and Mobilizing Across the Country

In the past few weeks, we’ve supported actions across the country that are turning out voters in record numbers. Here’s just a taste to get your inspiration up (and help get you to the ballot box if you haven’t visited yours yet):

Lisa Jo Epstein of Just Act helped galvanize hundreds of high school students to parade to the polls to vote — many for the first time ever — and show that teens are the key to the future.

Unstoppable Voters Fellow Céshia Elmore of New Voice for Reproductive Justice awed, motivated, and inspired with a pro-voting poetic street protest.

Unstoppable Voters Fellow Steve Alfaro of Poder Latinx created a VOTACO: Georgia Vota event to get the Latinx community to… taco bout voting and help get out the vote.

And so much more!

Learn more about our Unstoppable Voters Fellows and their projects

There’s No Place Like Kansas: A Great Example of Artistic Activism in Action

Vote Neigh Video

Our new campaign case study: Kansas Vote Neigh

“Politics can be so depressing, right?” But earlier this year, we helped one Unstoppable Voters group inspire another into creating a voting campaign in Kansas full of joy, laughter, creativity, camaraderie, and community. The result? Mobilizing voters in record numbers and winning big!

Check out our latest campaign case study to learn more about this awesome example of artistic activism in action.

Watch our Kansas Vote Neigh Campaign Case Study

Inspired? 2 Tips to Amp Up Your Actions

Over the past year, the Unstoppable Voters team has trained 350 people and supported over a dozen creative pro-voter projects. We’ve learned a lot! We’re going to be sharing tons of resources and takeaways after the election, but for now, here are two tips you can use if you’re running a voting action, whether it’s in the next 24 hours or not til 2024:

  1. Create the irresistible image. Embrace spectacle! Think up fabulous ways to take up space — width, depth, and height. Turn your message into a metaphor and create the visual of what you’re trying to get across. Our Unstoppable Voters groups have done this with huge flags, fields of tents, fun and funky step and repeats, marching bands, and more.

  2. Use mystery, whimsy, and surprise. Tap into curiosity with the unexpected! Does someone expect to see a giant whale kite at the beach? Or performers standing on four street corners of the same intersection giving free spoken word performances? Or dozens of teens spinning signs in perfect unison? You bet they don’t! That’s when you can get people’s attention, make a connection, and move folks to action.

Learn more about Unstoppable Voters

From Actipedia: The Voting Quinceañeras

What’s a new, effective way to encourage young BIPOC voter turnout? In Texas, a group of 15-year-olds turned their quinceañeras into just that. Last week, these young Latinas led their families and friends along the streets of San Antonio to urge them to harness their electoral voice and vote. The parade ended with voter registration and early voting — not for the 15-year-olds, but for those in their parties who were of age and eligible. As one of the organizers shared, it was connecting one rite of passage — the quinceañera — with the rite of passage that comes with voting, highlighting the cultural relevance and power of both.

Learn more about this celebratory creative action

Thanks for reading and…

¡Vaya a votar!