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This group is trying to increase voter turnout by getting people to throw parties

VoteTogether is partnering with the social media site Nextdoor to make voting "a fun and positive shared experience will build stronger, more engaged communities," the group's Angie Jean-Marie said.
Published Oct. 15, 2018|Updated Oct. 15, 2018

This isn't normally what we think of when we hear the phrase "political party."

The voter turnout group VoteTogether and the social media site Nextdoor are partnering to encourage voters to celebrate civic participation, the groups announced Monday. Literally. Voters in Florida and Pennsylvania are encouraged to plan and register election-themed parties on Nextdoor, an online neighborhood forum, in the days leading up to election day.

Three Nextdoor users will win $1,000 grants to spice up their parties with food trucks or other amenities, the groups said in a release.

Angie Jean-Marie, VoteTogether's director, said social science research is behind the idea of getting people to throw voting parties.

"There's a decent body of research that indicates that once you change the conversation and make voting about positive social pressure and about neighbor-to-neighbor, peer-to-peer and friend-to-friend engagement, it can make a really big impact (on voter participation,)" Jean-Marie said.

In the spirit of that research, VoteTogether will be measuring the effect of its efforts on voter turnout in Pennsylvania and Florida, both of which are fielding crucial races for governor and U.S. senator this election cycle.

"We really want to encourage people to do these events," Jean-Marie said. "What we're looking for this year is to scale this idea, so this year is a huge pilot for us."

Jean-Marie noted that VoteTogether's voter turnout efforts are non-partisan. The group is under the umbrella of Civic Nation, which works to ensure better "education access, civic engagement, gender equality and social justice," per its website.


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