PRESS RELEASE: VoteRiders Provides Record Voter ID Support in Largest Midterm Turnout Since 1960s
For Immediate Release: November 13, 2018
In 2018, VoteRiders Reached Tens of Millions of Americans, Directly Helped More than 35,000 Voters; Group Will Continue Mission in Runoff Races and Begin Preparing for a Consequential 2020 Election Season
In an election season where close to 50 percent of eligible voters turned out, VoteRiders—the nation’s leading voter ID assistance and education group—was able to reach tens of millions of Americans while supplying direct assistance to more than 35,000 voters according to preliminary figures that are expected to increase.
Kathleen Unger, the Founder of VoteRiders, said the work is just heating up—in no small part because more than 25 million voting-eligible Americans still lack the right kind of identification they need to vote. While VoteRiders is already starting to plan for the consequential 2020 election cycle, the group is also continuing to take a front seat in elections that have yet to be called. For example, VoteRiders is shipping 7,500 free voter ID information wallet cards to higher education institutions in Mississippi, where the U.S. Senate candidates are facing off in a special runoff election on November 27th .
“We knew these midterm elections would be generation-defining,” said Unger, who founded VoteRiders, a nonpartisan nonprofit, in 2012. “And from the start, our goal was to ensure that as many voters as possible could break through voter ID barriers and make their voices heard. Our efforts reached tens of millions of Americans this year, and we directly assisted tens of thousands of voters—but we can’t rest now. VoteRiders is continuing to support voters where runoff elections are happening now, and we’re already preparing for the 2020 election cycle. I’m incredibly proud of the VoteRiders team, I’m proud of all the great organizations who helped support the right to vote this election season, and most of all, I’m proud of all the people in our country who took charge and ownership over their votes.”
VoteRiders: By the Numbers
As the nation’s leading nonpartisan, nonprofit focused solely on voter ID awareness, education, and free assistance, VoteRiders built out an experienced group of coalition builders, legal and political experts, operational staff, and volunteers who were available to citizens across America during the 2018 midterms. The efforts of this team were particularly crucial this election season given the high interest in competitive races across the country, voter ID changes in states like North Dakota, and the unclear voting status of over 50,000 citizens in Georgia.
VoteRiders handled a stream of Helpline phone calls from voters who sought help navigating the complicated voter ID laws in their states. The group’s reach was particularly impactful in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where turnout numbers hit a record-breaking 75 percent.
Another traditionally vulnerable voter population is among 18-29 year olds, whose 2018 early voting participation rate increased by 188 percent from 2014. To assist the surge of new voters, VoteRiders developed two large-scale activations at college campuses in both Arizona and Florida to advise students heading to the polls. With the support of the organization added to the excitement around the 2018 elections, the University of Arizona saw their student participation vastly exceed the 2014 elections and nearly match 2016 Presidential year numbers. At the University of Florida, 1,000 more students cast a vote–an increase of 20 percent over the 2014 elections.
In the wake of the 2018 elections, VoteRiders is finalizing its organizational priorities ahead of 2020. One major focus will be to expand the successful “Direct Voter Contact” partnerships that identify voters who need assistance.
Spokespeople and Partners
VoteRiders spread awareness about voter ID requirements with support from several spokespeople including Leonardo DiCaprio, Ryan Seacrest, and Kerry Washington as well as partner organizations Facebook, Lyft, Google, Funny or Die, Vote Save America, and Omaze.