I came across this Instagram account and find it to be an uplifting and powerful one! I personally really like that they don’t advocate for certain politicians, views,, opinions, etc. They just want to encourage anyone and everyone to go out, register, and vote! I hope you enjoy their interview as well as their Instagram account!
- Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your founders?
We are young professional women who have been frustrated by a lot of what is going on in American politics today. We felt like politicians are increasingly answering to donors rather than their constituents, and this is evident in the legislation that is being passed. But at the end of the day, politicians do report to their constituents, who have the power to vote politicians who don’t represent them and their interests out of office.From our frustration and feelings of helplessness (which we heard echoed by so many of our friends, family, and community members), we identified voter enfranchisement as the issue that touches all other issues. By giving people the power to vote, you give them a say in politics and the direction of the country.
- Can you tell me about the work Grab Em By The Ballot does and the program or programs you run?Grab Em By The Ballot is just getting started, but we have 3 core programs we will be focused on. First is engaging with high school student to host voter registration drives and voter engagement events, with the goal of helping young people register to vote. The second is creating resources to show people how easy it is to become a Voter Registration Activist. We call this DIY (do-it-yourself) Activism. If you register one person to vote, you are an activist and you have made a difference. We want to give people easy, attainable, executable goals and programs they can activate on their own. The third tenant is digital engagement. We plan to leverage social media, online, and text-t-register software (in partnership with Rock The Vote), and celebrity and influencer promotion to get the word out about registering to vote.The Umbrella goal of all our programs is registering more voters. There is also a secondary goal around making the importance of voter registration part of American culture and everyday conversation. On election day, we should be asking our friends if they voted, high school students should be concerned if they have friends who aren’t registered and should have tools at their disposal to help them register, and so on. We are asking ourselves, how do we de-normalize not being registered and not voting?
- What prompted the beginning of this nonprofit organization?
It was definitely the frustration with the current state of the country and feeling overwhelmed by all the issues we felt passionately about and wanted to try and engage with. This led to an “Ah-Ha” moment: by focusing on voter registration, our efforts would trickle-down into all other political issues and domains.
- When was Grab Em By The Ballot founded and how has it grown since then?
We were founded on Sunday, January 21, 2018, the day after the 2018 WOmen’s March. We have since launched our Instagram page to start getting our message out and building an audience. Next steps will be building our website (coming soon), digital registration tools, and IRL registration events.
- What is Grab Em By The Ballot’s goals for the next year? The next three years?
This year we are singularly focused on registration efforts up until the registration deadlines for the 2018 mid-term elections. After that, we will be thinking about how we can shift culture and make voter registration and voting a part of the culture, as well as how we can make it easier for people to vote via legislative efforts. Pushing for Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) at the state level, online registration, eliminating voter ID laws, and so on.
- What do you feel is the biggest accomplishment so far?
We are still in very early days, but so far we have seen really strong engagement on our social channels, which tells us there are an interest and a need for the message we are putting out there. We are excited to turn our early social media efforts and messages into real-life programming and registration initiatives.
- Does Grab Em By The Ballot align with any one political party?
We are a non-partisan organization. Our focus is on making it easier to register and to vote – for everyone!
- If there was one activist resource that you wish everyone would read or view what would it be?
Vote.Org. They are currently the best-in-class for helping make registration easy and digital. Check them out and share with your friends + family who need to register.
- Is there anyone or any group of people who inspire you or prod you to action?
We are inspired by anyone who is taking their country and its policies into their own hands. We hear from so many people that they never know what it meant to be an activist or to be politically engaged, but they are now realizing how important it is to use your voice and not let it go to waste. That can be by voting, marching, talking to friends about issues you’re passionate about, raising money or donating to a cause, etc. No act is too small, and any minute of your day that you use to further the conversation is a minute you spent being an activist.
- If you could change one thing about this world what would it be?
Spread empathy. I think when people can relate to someone else’s struggles, put themselves in someone else’s shoes, understand things from another person’s perspective, we get nations and policies which are more tolerant and promote the greater good rather than the good of certain individuals or groups.