Volunteer Story: Kelly Leffler

Meet Kelly Leffler.

Kelly lives in Chicago and started volunteering with VoteRiders in 2019. Kelly knew she needed to act after reading about thousands of people in her home state of Wisconsin who were unable to vote in 2016. She still proudly remembers casting her first ballot in Wisconsin as a college freshman in 1988 and is dedicated to removing obstacles that might prevent others from doing the same in 2020.

During a recent volunteer shift with VoteRiders, Kelly made phone calls to organizations in Florida that work with returning citizens. The state’s Amendment 4 legislation recently restored voting rights for people with felony convictions. The goal of Kelly’s outreach was to find organizations that were interested in introducing voter ID education and assistance into their programming.

For Kelly, this job was a perfect fit, “I like nothing more than connecting people and building bridges.” She knew she could draw from her past experiences working with returning citizens on re-entry while volunteering in different capacities with other organizations.

During her phone banking, Kelly spoke on the phone with an organization called The Broward Partnership for the Homeless. The Broward Partnership for the Homeless already had voter registration as part of their intake process and were very excited to talk with VoteRiders about partnering in order to expand their services.

For Kelly, interactions like this make phone banking worthwhile. She said, “I think cold-calling can be intimidating. I don’t have a background in sales and marketing. You have to go into it knowing you’re going to get a lot of people saying they’re ‘not interested’, and that is fine. Success is measured one ‘yes’ at a time. And it’s a great feeling when you get a ‘yes.’”

Kelly emphasized that she has volunteered with numerous organizations, but she found her volunteering with VoteRiders extremely enjoyable. One reason Kelly liked to participate in the VoteRiders phone bank was flexibility, “VoteRiders makes phone banking easy. They provide the phone list and the script. I like the flexibility of phone banking from my office or home, at a time that fits my schedule. I remember the days of 20 people packed into a church basement full of desk phones.” Another aspect that Kelly appreciated is the organization and additional support that VoteRiders offers their volunteers.

VoteRiders is thankful for volunteers like Kelly, and we hope that sharing her story inspires others to volunteer their time as well. Sign up here!