Every other Monday, the advocacy team sets up at the Broadway St Mobile in Chicopee with snacks, multi-lingual voter registration forms, and tablets on which visitors can check to see if they are registered or register online, on-the-spot. They also answer visitors’ questions about eligibility, the voting process, or polling locations.
While the official goal of the team’s outreach is to assist people with voter registration, Food Bank Public Policy Manager Laura Sylvester emphasizes that any engagement they garner with participants is a success.
“The most important power you hold in a democracy is your vote, and who you vote for matters. Especially in local elections, races are often decided by fewer than 100 votes, so every vote is critical! We’re doing voter registration to have conversations with people, to hear their very real disillusionment, but then to hopefully help them feel empowered and wanting to reengage with the system.”