Civic and Voter Engagement

voter engagement workshop

At a workshop in Evansville, Indiana

Engagement for Election Day and Beyond

The Right Question Civic and Voter Engagement Strategy is a unique, non-partisan approach for engaging residents of low and moderate-income communities in the democratic process.

The Right Question (RQ) Strategy increases motivation and confidence to vote by:

  • Focusing first on building self-advocacy skills people can use in their ordinary encounters with public agencies and services
  • Helping people make the connections between decisions made by elected officials and their daily lives.

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Some of the changes the RQ Strategy produces:

Before the RQ Strategy
  • “Voting feels like taking a test.”
  • “I don’t know how to fill out a ballot.”
  • “What’s the punishment if I vote for the wrong person?”
  • “I have never voted…”
  • “Before, I had no idea [why] the heck I needed to vote…”
  • “It’s pretty complicated. It can be nerve-wracking, not knowing, making wrong decisions; that’s why I don’t vote.”
After the RQ Strategy
  • “I learned that my opinion counts.”
  • “I see that if I don’t vote, then other people are going to keep on making decisions for me. This gives me a chance to have a say in who’s going to be making those decisions.”
  • “I can use what I learned to participate in community decisions and in all daily aspects of my life.”
  • “…I feel really strongly about voting now. It would make a difference.”
  • “…now I know what I need to think about.”
  • “I will definitely vote this year and the rest to come so maybe I can benefit out of the whole voting system.”
  • “I feel more confident [voting now].”

The Right Question Strategy is a remarkably cost-effective approach for developing two foundational self-advocacy skills that are also democratic skills. All people, no matter their level of education or income improve their ability to:

  1. Produce their own questions, improve their questions, and strategize on how to use their questions
  2. Participate in decisions that affect them

These skills are relevant to participating on Election Day, but, unlike most voter mobilization efforts, the exact same skills are relevant to addressing the challenges participants face on all other days of the year.

Where can the Right Question Strategy be used?
The RQ Strategy can be integrated into all efforts to educate and engage potential voters, including adult literacy programs, social service agencies, community organizations, high schools and civic or religious institutions.

Have you already registered? Click here to login and access the resource materials.

Register to download our Voter Engagement Materials »

voter engagement questions

Their Decisions, Our Stories

Their Decision, Our Stories is a series of eight brief videos written, narrated, and edited by adult education and job training students from New Hampshire and Arizona. These stories can help potential voters draw connections between their lives and public decisions that impact them.