At U.S. Vote Foundation (US Vote), we’re on a mission to make it simple and easy for every American citizen to vote. The right to vote is part of our country’s foundation, woven into the fabric of democracy itself. Voter participation and engagement is essential, and every citizen should be able to exercise this right. While the country has made huge strides in voter turnout, there’s still a lot of work to be done to ensure that US Vote’s motto – Every Citizen is a Voter – comes true.
The problem we’re solving
Today, voting in the U.S. is a complex web of laws and regulations that differ across all 50 states. States and local jurisdictions have different deadlines for voter registration, diverse and changing voter identification requirements, and uneven standards of voting accessibility and method. As of 2020, there were more than 7,500 local election offices across the country. To make matters even more complicated, hundreds of new voting-related laws are passed every year in states and localities, which means voting guidelines are constantly changing. There is no one way to vote.
Understandably, U.S. citizens are often unsure or confused about how, where, and when to vote. While some dedicated voters resolve to figure it out themselves, for others, this barrier proves insurmountable. This means that people who are legally entitled to vote – and who want to vote – sometimes don’t.
These problems are significant enough in the United States, and for U.S. citizens living overseas or serving in the military, it’s even worse. Some don’t realize they’re eligible to vote, and others don’t know what is required to register and vote from overseas.
Without help, millions of Americans are disenfranchised. That’s where we come in.
What we’re doing about it
In 2004, founder and CEO Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat banded together with other American citizens abroad to form Overseas Vote, the precursor to US Vote focused on helping Americans living abroad exercise their voting rights. But the more the Overseas Vote team learned, the more they realized that citizens living in the U.S. needed help just as badly. Applying the lessons learned during the creation of Overseas Vote, and making election information available to U.S. citizens living in America, was the logical next step. The team saw the potential to transform the U.S. voting landscape for the better.
In 2012, US Vote was born, bringing the easy-to-use, free, searchable database of accurate voting information to America. Unlike other sources of voter information, US Vote and Overseas Vote take a voter-centric approach that keeps the end use – the voter – in mind.
Today, both Overseas Vote and US Vote help tens of millions of voters each election cycle. Here’s how:
- We give voters the information they need.
US Vote’s website is a free, accurate, easy-to-use resource that gives voters a simple way to find out:
- Where, when, and how they can register to vote
- When their state’s voter registration deadlines are
- What their state’s rules are for absentee and mail-in voting
- The full range of links to state-by-state voting tools, including where their polling place is, and when polls are open
- Who their election officials are, and how they can contact their local election office
- We amplify our reach by making our tools available to other civic organizations.
Realizing the scale and seriousness of the problem, many other organizations are also dedicated to expanding equity and access to voting. We partner with these voter outreach organizations, state and county governments, and federal agencies, giving them access to our accurate, up-to-date software database of state- and local-level civic data.
Our licensees include many well-known organizations, including the Alliance for Securing Democracy, the Brennan Center for Justice, Hip Hop Caucus, the League of Women Voters, Rock the Vote, Vote.org, VoteAmerica, the State of Ohio, and the United States Postal Service, among many others.
How we’re different
- We are the only organization that offers all voter services and information for domestic, military, and overseas voters, all in one place.
- US Vote is a unique organization created by voters, for voters, and with the voter in mind.
- We offer a range of voter tools, election information, and FAQs.
- We run a Voter Help Desk, where people can get personalized answers to their questions.
- We continually update our database as information changes.
- We’re relentlessly focused on quality and are wholly committed to protecting our users’ security and privacy.
- We conduct postelection research.
- We are nonpartisan. We exist to serve voters, not to promote issues.
- We do not collect or share any data about individual voters.
- We provide more services to more voters per dollar donated than any other voter services organization.
Our impact in 2020
- In 2020, 3 million voters were served directly through our US Vote and Overseas Vote websites.
- On Election Day 2020, US Vote had more than 11 million pageviews and more than 72,000 visitors to the site.
- Traffic to US Vote’s website increased by approximately 80 percent as compared to 2016.
- On Election Day 2020, Overseas Vote had more than 600,000 unique site visits, including more than 11,000.
- US Vote and its licensing partners reached tens of millions of American voters.
Looking ahead, US Vote will build on our existing strengths with two transformative initiatives:
Increasing local elections participation: LOCelections program
To increase voter participation in local elections, we aim to realize our plan for a nationwide resource for election dates and deadlines, one that is designed for voters and can be licensed. LOCelections will enable voters to find out when their next local election is and how they can participate, ultimately resulting in higher voter turnout and more representative local elections.
Optimizing US Vote for mobile: Voter Account App
We are working toward a mobile-optimized Voter Account App to support long-term voter engagement through personalized voter services. The Voter Account App will be a best-in-class platform that brings together voting information, from online voter registration regulations to upcoming election deadlines, with a voter action hub that offers nonpartisan information on issues and candidates. Our vision is to offer a “one-stop shop” that will drive increases in voter engagement and participation.
To learn more about how you can help US Vote make sure that Every Citizen Is a Voter, visit USVoteFoundation.org.