KFTC's Voter Empowerment work in the primary election and beyond

Just as no two regions of Kentucky are identical neither are KFTC chapters’ voter empowerment work. Across Kentucky KFTC members prepared to get out the vote during the primary election with activities including registering voters, tabling events, canvassing door-to-door and phone banking.

Chapters were very creative about how they encouraged voters to exercise their voice in our democracy. The Jefferson County chapter organized an amazing Bike the Vote event that brought out a fun, diverse crowd. The chapter also canvassed the Smoketown neighborhood to talk to residents about housing and development issues while also encouraging them to vote.

Southern Kentucky also organized a door-to-door canvass and, as many other chapters did, phone banked to encourage voters to make it to the polls. The Letcher County chapter handed out voter guides in downtown Whitesburg. The Central Kentucky chapter partnered with the NAACP to address a last-minute polling location change that had the potential to disenfranchise many black voters. The two organizations staked out the former polling location to let uniformed voters know about the location change and also offer them rides to their new polling place. The Madison County chapter  phone banked voters leading up to the election, and the day after the primaries visited Eastern Kentucky University’s campus to develop partnerships and discover student outreach opportunities.

 

KFTC's Voter Guide Proved to be a Hot Commodity  

A tool for voter education, the KentuckyElection.org and our printed Voter Guides informed voters about candidates’ stances on issues affecting Kentuckians. In early spring, KFTC chapters across Kentucky surveyed those running for office to learn their positions on issues relating to energy, public transportation, fairness and voting rights. The answers ranged from heartwarming to gut wrenching and reinforced the importance of voters knowing candidates' values prior to casting a vote. After a month surveying candidates, we posted the survey responses we received to KentuckyElection.org and mailed our Voter Guide to nearly 13,000 voters.

The feedback received from the Voter Guide was outstanding.  After its release there was a 60% increase in visits to the KentuckyElection.org site than in 2012. This difference is largely due to members, staff and candidates sharing the link via word of mouth, email and on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Primary Day Voter Turnout & November GOTV Planning

KFTC worked hard to rock the vote this Primary Election Day. Voter turnout varied across the state, but organizers in chapters that participated in Get Out The Vote (GOTV) efforts felt their activities helped get more voters to the polls. Acknowledging the impact that a good GOTV program can have in engaging, educating and turning out voters, KFTC is already gearing up for our GOTV efforts for November’s General Election. We have plans to  use a new database called Voter Action Network (VAN) to broaden our reach across the state. We are also scheduling  more voter outreach trainings for staff and members, and chapters are committed to creating volunteer opportunities for members to connect with voters on issues that are important to Kentuckians. It’s an exciting time for KFTC. Don’t miss out on the fun! Connect with your chapter organizer to see how you can join us and help empower voters across Kentucky!