Voter Empowerment

VOTER EMPOWERMENT: LEGAL Dos & Don’ts

Do:

  • Education as to federal candidates’ stance on issues of civil rights.
    This may include:

    • Identifying particular candidates or committees in communications
    • Discussing positions or voter records of candidates
    • Notifying a candidate or committee about a communication after it is finalized (e.g., after it has been published or aired) as long as the notification is not used to coordinate some future communication.
  • Increase voter turnout in the African American community through voter registration, education, Get-Out-The-Vote and issue advocacy.
    This may include:

    • Distributing non-partisan voter registration, etc. materials to other organizations
    • Providing non-partisan voter registration, etc. training to or with other organizations.
    • Participating in non-partisan coalitions involved in voter registration and Get-Out-The-Vote activities, as long as targeting or other partisan matters are not discussed.
  • Work with and work to build NAACP Youth Councils and College Chapters.
    This may include:

    • Making monetary or in-kind contributions to support voter registration, GOTV, incumbent report cards or issue advocacy.
    • Coordinating the activities at local units.
    • Naming local units on material funded by the NAACP.
  • Work to build national, state, and local coalition of organizations and leaders who share common issue goals in order to advance common activity program.
    This may include:

    • Discussing local resources and contacts, except no targeting or other campaign matters may be discussed with charitable organizations (including churches).
    • Discussing targeting and partisan campaign matters with non-charitable organizations, such as labor unions.
    • Recruiting volunteers to support partisan activity by non-charitable organizations.

 

DON’T:

  • Communications
    • Use “express advocacy” words, such as “vote for”, “vote against,” “elect,” “defeat, “support,” or “oppose,” or otherwise unambiguously urge the support of defeat of clearly identified candidates or the candidates of a clearly identified party.
    • Attribute targeting or other partisan activity to the national NAACP. All such activities are activities of AFE, NVF and/or NAACP local units.
  • Candidates or Committees
    • Make monetary contributions to any Candidate or Committee.
    • Make any in-kind contributions to any Candidate or Committee by providing services or any other thing of value (e.g., poll results) or by engaging in any activity at the request of, or in coordination with, a Candidate or Committee.
    • Coordinate communications with a Candidate or Committee by directly or indirectly discussing the communication with a Candidate or Committee, in any way, except as described in the DO section above.
    • Solicit contributions on behalf of a Candidate or Committee.
  • Charitable Organizations (Including churches and the national NAACP)
    • Discuss targeting or other partisan campaign matters.
    • Distribute partisan material, such as candidate scorecards that clearly favor one candidate or political party over another.
    • Receive monetary or in-kind contributions, including staff time,
    • Use the organization’s resources, such as space for meetings or mailing lists, unless the organization has historically made the resources available on the same terms to other organizations, including to political organizations from across the political spectrum.
  • Other Organizations (including labor unions)
    • Discuss targeting or other partisan campaign matters if the other organization is coordinating with or otherwise passing information on to a Candidate or Committee.
  • Vendors and Consultants
    • Hire Vendors (e.g. pollsters) who may do work for a Candidate or Committee unless the vendor agrees in writing that the vendor will not share information regarding NVF/AFE activity with the Candidate or Committee or vice versa.
    • Hire individuals who participate in the overall direction, strategy or daily operations of a Candidate or Committee.