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Election Day

Youth Demographic

Dave Telfer

on 29 April 2010

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Transcript of Election Day

Democracy Day:

"Honor America's Past, by Celebrating Its Future."

Tru Colors Public Relations

Veritas Chung
Sabine Horner
Dave Telfer


Situation Analysis Dave
Goal & Objectives Dave
Audiences Dave
Messaging Sabine
Strategies & Tactics Sabine
Partnerships Veritas
Timeline Veritas

Situation Analysis: the current voting environment

The U.S. experienced significant declines in voter participation between 1960-1988

Voter Turnout Reached a 60-year Peak During 2008 presidential election

Despite Gains, the U.S. Still ranks 138th globally in voter turnout, with only 63% voter turnout in 2008

Large disparity still exists between higher and lower income voters Situation Analysis: Current voting barriers Voter Registration

For many, taking time off work is a major deterrent

Long Voting Lines Situation Analysis: Previous Legislation 2008 Study by Society of HR Mgt: only 31% of employers offer employees paid time off to vote; and 24% offer unpaid time off

2008 HR Bill would establish Election Day as 1st Saturday/Sunday of November - introduced by Sen. Stabenow (D-MI) and Rep. Conyers (D-MI)


Designate "Election Day" a national holiday

Overarching Objective:

Create public support for "Democracy Day." This day would combine Veterans' Day and Election Day into 1 (one) national holiday.

Supporting Objectives:

Create more favorable voter turnout and more democratic participation

Create voter ease for those who currently cannot leave work to vote

Celebrate the democratic foundation and future of our country - honor the past; celebrate the future

Increase the voting participation of youth demographic
"Democracy Day" SWOT Analysis

Create a day to "Celebrate America's future, while honoring the past."
Increased voter participation
Places greater emphasis on the democratic process

Current Election Day has been intact since 1872 - part of America's heritage.

"Democracy Day" SWOT Analysis

Engaging the younger demographic
Increasing participation of underrepresented demographics

Potential negative impact of a higher percentage of uninformed voters
Lack of Congressional support

Target Audiences

Youth: 18- to 35-year-olds
23M Americans under 30 voted in 2008: Incr. of 3.4M, or 4pp
2008 election saw greatest turnout among youth overall, Blacks and Hispanics

College Students: 18- to 24-year-olds
Highest increase demographic from 2004

Young Professional: 24- to 35-year-olds
70% of young voters in this demographic had college degrees
Voters will less than a diploma represented only 6% of this demographic's voters

Black/Hispanic Voters:
Youth is most diverse demographic of voters
11% classified themselves as Hispanic; 19% classified themselves as Black Target Audiences

Big Business/Corporate America
one of the largest influencers in lobbying for/against national holiday
Democracy Day would not create another national holiday, thus negatively affecting companies' financials or worker productivity
Idea of encouraging a company to display "Corporate Social Responsibility" by supporting Democracy Day movement

United States Congress
Ultimately be decided upon by passage of Bill.
Significant Congressional support needed: Sen. Stabenow/Rep. Conyers (D-MI) both have proposed bills in 2008. Key Messages

Umbrella Message:

"The creation of 'Democracy Day' as a national holiday would combat the low voter participation rates that plague America's democracy. Through the act of voting, Americans would both honor the sacrifices made by veterans to protect our democratic freedoms and celebrate our future." Key Messages

Message 1:
"There should be no impediments to fulfilling our most important duty as citizens of the United States"

The current system handicaps less educated, lower income Americans, perpetuating a cycle of disenfranchisement
An Election Day holiday symbolizes our commitment to our democratic principles
17.5% of eligible non-voters did not vote because of scheduling conflicts or inconvenient voting procedures

Key Messages

Message 2:
"We need to institute a holiday that celebrates our future and shows the world that we value both our civil liberties and our responsibilites"

The United States ranks 138th in voter turnout globally
While we actively seek to spread democracy abroad, at home we allow our democracy to decay
We need to show the world that we take pride in our democratic rights and we understand their value
If voter turnout continues to be proportional to income, our officials will increasingly be working to represent the interests of the wealthy at the expense of the less privileged

Key Messages

Message 3:
"Young people are the future of our country. They need to reclaim their democracy and breathe new life into the democratic process."

Those with the most to gain from democratic participation - young people and low income Americans - vote in the lowest numbers
Historically, young people have the lowest voter turnout of any age group
Cause for optimism: participation of young people rose significantly in the 2008 election
if properly supported, the youth of today could resuscitate our democratic tradition. It is vital that we support this new understanding of civic duty and desire to participate democratically and make a serious investment in the future of civic participation in our country
Key Messages

Message 4:
"Combining Veteran's Day with Election Day will foster understanding and appreciation of the sacrifices made by our service members who give their lives to defend our democratic rights"

Would send a strong signal to the international community about the importance our country attaches to voting
A national holiday that enables democratic participation is an appropriate way to honor the service of our veterans. Increased voter participation would show the military community in concrete terms that we value their service Strategies & Tactics

Strategy 1: Recruit a coalition of spokespeople - celebrities, comedians, and veterans drawn from the Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans' Association (IAVA) to generate media and public interest and be instrumental in enacting strategies 1, 2, 3 and 5

Rob Riggle & Clint Eastwood (veterans), Scarlett Johansson, and Sarah Silverman

Strategies & Tactics

Strategy 2: Develop website advocating for the creation of "Democracy Day."

Created under slogan "Reclaim Democracy: honor the past by celebrating the future."
Website to disseminate information to educate citizens on the Election Day issues. Strategies & Tactics

Strategy 3: Launch "So You Think You Can Vote?" national video competition, open to ages 18-35.
Participants will create a 3-minute video in support of instituting Democracy Day as a national holiday; video to be uploaded to campaign YouTube site and Democracy Day website
Public will have the opportunity to vote on the videos through the website and the winning submission will be used for a national television ad
Celebrity Campus Crawl
Winner may elect to re-shoot his or her video using one or more of the celebrities or veterans from the Democracy Day coalition Strategies & Tactics

Strategy 4: Create a coalition of corporate supporters to help influence public and congressional opinion
create an online petition to encourage/pressure executives to support Democracy Day as part of their corporate social responsibility program and be declared coalition member
Support rallied by union partner
National marketing campaign Strategies & Tactics

Strategy 5: Pitch stories about the Democracy Day campaign to targeted media outlets and reporters, particularly during the 2010 congressional campaigns to make Democracy Day an election issue. Partners

The American Legion
Founded in 1919; 2.6M members and 55 departments
Nation's largest veterans' service organization
mission: focusing on veterans' rights and their quality of life through grassroots involvements in the legislative process
provides help in lobbying and mobilization

The united Auto Workers (UAW)
513K active members, 575K retired members in 800 unions
Reach of all sectors
provides an Election Day holiday example for other unions/corporations
ability to provide help in communicating with working publics Timeline

3 phase strategy

Launch of "Reclaim Democracy" website, Facebook and YouTube page, Twitter feed and "So You Think You can Vote?" challenge
Campaign to begin with heavy digital media and grassroots campaigns - including petition, viral videos and Celebrity Campus Crawl
Press Release to announce campaign, and media pitchto announce mission and partners

July - Late September
Presentation of petition results on 4th of July, and conclude YouTube challenge by online voting in September
presentation of current successes and encouraging participation in YouTube challenge via press releases, pitches and viral videos
Campaign will seek coverage in the Daily Show, with OpEd's written by Sen. Stabenow and Rep. Conyers for the public forum

Late September - Late November
Campaign to keep support/pressure on Congress for holiday legislation
Final push with national TV ads from the winner of digital/social media activities THANK YOU!


IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America)
Founded in 2004; now has 125,000 members
The first and largest non-profit organization for veterans and families of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mission: improve the lives of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and allow them to join the national dialogue.
It can participate in campus events, provide spokespeople.
Full transcript