Notes from the Field

Primary Election 2018

June 11, 2018

Woah–what a primary!

Our incredible team of staff and volunteers gave up weekends and evenings of free time to make sure their friends and classmates had everything they needed to cast their vote this June.

And we did GOTV in style–with home-cooked meals from community members, posted up in the sunshine with friends, and during days of service with classmates.

This spring, our Billings, Bozeman, and Missoula teams made a whopping 16,535 calls and sent 7,032 texts to remind young Montanans to cast their vote in the Primary election.

While I’m looking forward to digging into the data once we know more about how our outreach impacted youth turnout, I’m already thrilled that Montana’s turnout for this primary was 41%.

41% may not seem like a lot of people voting. In fact, I’m sure you’re thinking, “Forty-one percent?! That’s less than half!”

But 41% is up 8 percentage points from the last midterm primary election (2014: 33% turnout; 2010: 32.5% turnout). And that’s a big deal.

While we’re still working towards a world where every young person turns out to vote every single time, whether the race is the primary for the local dog catcher or the country’s President, we also know that increasing voter participation takes a whole-helluva-lotta work.

A whole-helluva-lotta work means making sure young people know the when, where, and how of voting. It also means building trust in our political system and faith in ourselves to vote and to govern. It means talking to candidates about issues important to us and to our friends. It means creating a culture of civic engagement that goes beyond one day every four years.

I hope you’ll continue to lend a hand with this work! We need everyone from donors to volunteers to lasagna bakers to help us continue building this culture of civic engagement.

Our teams are already back at it, registering voters for this fall. Will you join us? DONATE or VOLUNTEER today.