Washington Update

FASEB Encourages Voting in Upcoming Elections

By: Ellen Kuo
Thursday, October 1, 2020

FASEB is supporting civic engagement by member societies and the broader scientific community. When foreigners become naturalized citizens of the U.S., they are asked, “What is the most important right granted to U.S. citizens?” Answer: The right to vote.

As a nonprofit, FASEB is permitted to encourage voting and can reach voters who are left out of the political process. This encouragement can boost turnout at rates 11 percentage points higher than comparable voters in their communities according to Nonprofitvote.org. This is an important reason why nonprofits should not shy away from engaging in Get Out the Vote (GOTV) campaigns, which must be nonpartisan to avoid losing tax-exempt status or other penalties. How can your society encourage voting? Consider helping your members understand the importance of being active in the democratic process to support science and providing easily accessible time-sensitive information on how to register to vote. Nonprofits can also conduct other nonpartisan activities such as allowing your staff time off to vote, encouraging staff to be poll workers or translators, or making voting easier by enabling staff to spend part of their day doing nonpartisan GOTV activities such as providing free rides to the polls.

To support our member societies, a resource is available on FASEB.org that provides tips to get started. Researchers can share this information with a personal note to their contacts to help increase civic engagement.

FASEB is committed to leveraging our communication channels to remind people to vote. It is easy to find information about your polling place or hours for voting by calling 1-866-Our-Vote (1-866-687-8683) where volunteers are available to assist individuals with questions about voting.