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Helping Nonprofits Engage PA Voters

By Andrea Sears, Keystone State News Connection

Sep 09, 2020
Large multi-ethnic group of people registering at polling station decorated with American flags on election day, copy space

The “Participate PA” webinars will include information on voter registration, voting by mail and recruiting poll workers.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The COVID pandemic is making this a challenging year for engaging voters, but help is available for the nonprofit groups that often play a critical role in encouraging civic participation.

Wednesday, September 9 at noon, the Keystone Progress Education Fund – a nonpartisan, statewide organization – holds the first in a series of webinars to give nonprofits new tools to reach out to potential voters, especially in hard-to-reach communities.

According to Patrick Clark, chair of the Education Fund’s board, the webinars will give groups new to voter engagement a chance to get their questions answered by those that have extensive experience.

Clark listed some expected questions: “What is the deal with vote-by-mail? What are other ways to vote safely if you don’t want to show up at the polls? How do we help the state and counties recruit poll workers?”

Today’s webinar will focus on tools, key dates and voter registration. Participation is free. Schedule and registration information is online at ‘tinyurl.com/everybodyvote.’

Topics of upcoming webinars include reaching out to young voters, seniors and other groups that often have low turnout or face extra difficulties in casting their ballots. And Clark noted the experience of the most recent statewide election will provide valuable insights.

“Lessons learned,” said Clark. “What happened in the primary election cycle that we all – and some of the election administrators in counties across Pennsylvania – could learn from and do better in the general election?”

The 90-minute webinars are being held at noon, each Wednesday this month.

Clark emphasized many groups and individuals are getting the message that this will be the most important election in our lifetimes.

“The organizations that are hearing that message from their constituencies, their membership, are the ones that we most want to reach,” said Clark. “So that they have the resources they need to support their mission and further voter participation in Pennsylvania.”

Support for this reporting was provided by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.

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