Get Out the Vote 2012: Get Started Today



Election season. The TV ads, town hall events, and your daily choice of the candidates’ “make-or-break” moments – all are just a precursor to the rush and excitement of November 6, when you step behind the curtain and into the voting booth. It’s halftime in America, in the words of Clint Eastwood, and how we as American Jews vote in the next election will help shape our lives and our country.  How will our local and federal governments operate after spending cuts and budgetary squeezes? Will our health care system change?  How will we respond to and engage with conflicts abroad?

To answer these questions, we must raise our individual voices and vote in the upcoming presidential and congressional elections—and we must also take steps to mobilize our broader community to do the same. How will you help get out the vote in 2012?

Armed with tools and ideas, a broad coalition of national Jewish organizations and religious movements today released Get Out the Vote 2012, a non-partisan guide to election-year civic engagement created by the RAC on behalf of the coalition. Sponsoring organizations include the URJ, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Jewish Reconstructionist Federation, Orthodox Union, and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.

In the 2008 election, 71% of voting-aged citizens were registered to vote, a 1% decrease from 2004 and a number that can surely be surpassed in 2012. Get Out the Vote 2012 contains tools to help the Jewish community register new voters for the upcoming elections, providing a timeline and list of “how-to’s” for planning a successful voter registration drive. It also addresses ways to organize Election Day carpools, educate voters about issues through programs such as candidate forums, and help college students, people with disabilities, homebound citizens, and others vote by absentee ballot.

As a Jewish synagogue or nonprofit organization, it can be tricky to remain non-partisan but engaged.  Get Out the Vote 2012 also reviews the regulations governing election-year activities for non-profits and religious institutions and explains how you can still be involved with the candidates and the issues we care about deeply while staying within the limits your non-profit status requires.

As November 6 draws nearer, we at the RAC look forward to helping to get out the vote in Washington, D.C. as well as in congregations and communities across the country. We also want to hear your ideas — share your thoughts on how you plan to help mobilize and educate voters in the comments section below.

To learn more about how your congregation or organization can promote civic engagement this election season, download your copy of the RAC’s Get Out the Vote 2012 guide now at www.rac.org/vote.

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Susan Paykin

About Susan Paykin

Susan Paykin is a 2011-2012 Eisendrath Legislative Assistant at the RAC. She is a native of Oakland, NJ, and recently graduated from Brandeis University.

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