Get Out the Wild Vote ToolKit

Vote!

This toolkit will help you prepare for elections. And if you want to do more, this website will walk you through it.

Find out if you are registered, register to vote, find your polling location and/or request a mail ballot here!

Be an Endangered Species Voter!

Never miss an election!

Get Election Reminders

Why Vote?

Voting is the most important action you can take to protect the environment, wildlife, and plants. In our divided world, one vote makes a difference. We will never tell you to vote for a particular party or candidate.  We just ask that you participate in our election process.

Environmentalists, as a group, are not consistent voters. So our issues don’t rise up to the top of voters’ concerns or elected officials’ concern. Vote and make environmental issues matter.

Be Informed: Learn About Current Elected Officials

Learn about current members of Congress–their voting records, positions, and financial contributions (which may help explain some of their positions…).

Scorecards & Policy Positions

Defenders of Wildlife Scorecard 

VoteSmart (for national, state and local elected officials) 

Financial Contributions

Open Secrets 

Federal Elections Committee

For more information regarding the different legal requirements for organizations and to establish that your activities are within those requirements if you work with an organization, please visit the below links from Bolder Advocacy.  They provide clarity on how 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations can engage. 

Guide to Navigatingating the Rules

Permissible Activities for C3 and C4 Organizations

Ex-Offenders Can Vote

It is a myth that all ex-offenders cannot vote. Rules are governed by state. Respect My Vote has every state’s requirements.

Can I/the organization I work with legally do this?

It is legal to register people to vote and to encourage them to do so. For more information regarding the different legal requirements for organizations and to establish that your activities are within those requirements, please visit the below links from Bolder Advocacy.  They provide clarity on how 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations can engage. 

Guide to Navigatingating the Rules

Permissible Activities for C3 and C4 Organizations

Get Out the Vote

Thank you for educating yourself and preparing to vote. Step Two is getting others to registered to vote! It’s easy. We walk you through it here.

Register Voters

It is easy and legal to register others to vote! If family members, friends or colleagues can legally vote, but aren’t registered, walk them through our online portal. 

It is a patriotic act to help your fellow Americans register to vote. Go out into your community and register voters! Here is a simple video showing you how:

Get Forms to Register Voters

Follow your states Supervisor of Elections official rules properly.  Learn the rules, find out deadlines, and get the forms in one of two ways:

Check with your State Election Office. In most states, you can learn rules, get deadlines, and download voter registration forms online. You can find your State Election Office on the Federal Election Office Commission website

There is a Supervisor of Elections office in almost every county in the country. Find the offices on your State Election Office website. Call or go in person and let staff explain the process. They can walk you through the registration form and tell you the deadline for returning them.   

Register Voters Online

If you have a computer or tablet, you can also use our online portal in 37 states to register voters. Check if your state has online registration.

If you are participating in any activity–e.g., beach clean ups, garden plantings, habitat restorations, bird watching, etc.,–take your forms or tablet with you!

Download, print, and use this free sign at your table. You can buy an 8 1/2 x 11 acrylic stand to place it in or you could laminate it and hang it from your table. Use it in any way that helps get people to your table!

Let Us Know You Registered A Voter

And when you get even one registered voter, please share your success with us here

Registering Voters At Your Nonprofit

If you work for a nonprofit, your organization can encourage staff, volunteers, and visitors to register and vote. Nonprofit VOTE has a great toolkit with everything you need. 

For more information regarding the different legal requirements for organizations and to establish that your activities are within those requirements, please visit the below links from Bolder Advocacy.  They provide clarity on how 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations can engage. 

Guide to Navigatingating the Rules

Permissible Activities for C3 and C4 Organizations

Engage Candidates

Engage your elected officials and candidates and ask questions to see if they deserve your vote. We’ve provided sample questions below, organized by region. You can ask these questions at town halls, candidate forums, through the media and through debates. It is best to ask the questions in a public forum so more people can hear the questions and answers.

Download all questions here or see below.

Where to Meet Current Elected Officials and/or Candidates

Visit: Town Hall Project

to find your representative’s and senators’ nearest offices or town halls.

Questions for National Office Candidates

Say:

The Endangered Species Act is successfully working as a safety net for plants and wildlife to protect them for future generations and has brought back iconic species from extinction, including the bald eagle, American alligator, evening primrose, and humpback whale.

And then ask a question from below:

Do you promise to support the Endangered Species Act if you’re elected? And if so, what specific actions would you support?

When decisions are made about protecting species, politics sometimes outweighs science.  How will you make sure that plant and wildlife decisions are made by scientists and not special interests?

Endangered species programs are always underfunded. Do you support increased funding for endangered plants and wildlife?

Questions for Governors

Say:

The Endangered Species Act is successfully working as a safety net for plants and wildlife to protect them for future generations and has brought back iconic species from extinction in the United States, including the bald eagle, American peregrine falcon, evening primrose, and humpback whale.

And then ask a question from below:

We need a full set of wildlife and plants on the landscape to protect our air and water. Will you pledge to appoint wildlife commissioners and Fish and Wildlife Agency directors who understand and support protecting all plants and wildlife, not just game animals?

Do you pledge to protect declining plant and animal populations before they become endangered, if you’re elected?  And if so, what specific actions would you support?

Questions for State and Local Positions: Any Region

The Endangered Species Act is successfully working as a safety net for plants and wildlife to protect them for future generations and has brought back iconic species from extinction, including the bald eagle, American peregrine falcon, and humpback whale. If you’re elected, do you pledge to protect declining plant and animal populations before they become endangered? And if so, what specific actions would you support?

Northwest

Say:

Iconic species of plants, fish, and wildlife such as Pacific salmon, Pacific yew tree, Golden Paintbrush, Kinkaid’s lupine, Orcas, and woodland caribou are an important part of our Pacific Northwest natural heritage, but these species are in decline.

And then ask a question from below:

Do you pledge to support habitat conservation, as well as policies and funding to protect and recover imperiled plants, fish and wildlife in our state? And if so, what specific actions would you support?

What specific actions would you take to protect Orcas?

What is your stand on removing the four lower Snake River dams?

California

Say:

Iconic species of plants, fish, and wildlife such as Pacific salmon, Joshua tree, Mexican flannelbush, water howelia, yellow larkspur, sea otter, Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, gray wolf, and California condor are an important part of our California natural heritage, but these species are in decline.

And then ask a question from below:

Do you pledge to support habitat conservation, as well as policies and funding to protect and recover imperiled plants, fish and wildlife in our state? And if so, what specific actions would you support?

Do you fully support continued protections of California’s coastal waters and marine fish and wildlife from the threat of oil and gas development in state or federal waters?

Do you pledge to protect wildlife and plants that are dependent on water in California? And if so, what policies would you support?

Will you support a strong wolf management plan that is geared toward reducing conflict?  

Northern Rockies

Iconic species of plants, fish, and wildlife such as bighorn sheep, wolverines, White bark pine tree, Spaulding’s catchfly, Ute ladies tresses, and native trout are an important part of our western natural heritage, but some of these species are in decline. Do you pledge to support habitat conservation, as well as policies and funding to protect and recover imperiled plants, fish and wildlife in our state? And if so, what specific actions would you support?

Southern Rockies

Iconic species of plants, fish, and wildlife such as the Gunnison sage grouse, Mesa verde cactus, Western prairie fringed orchid, Colorado butterfly plant,Canada lynx, pikeminnow, and the greenback cutthroat trout are an important part of our Western natural heritage, but these species are still imperiled.

And then ask a question from below:

Do you pledge to support habitat conservation, as well as policies and funding to protect and recover imperiled plants, fish and wildlife in our state? And if so, what specific actions would you support?

Will you support returning locally extinct native species to Colorado, such as the gray wolf?

What is your stand on the negative effects of the oil and gas industry on our wildlife?

Southwest

Iconic species of plants, fish, and wildlife such as the Mexican gray wolf, California condor, black-footed ferret, saguaro cactus, Pima pineapple cactus, Arizona cliffrose, Kearney’s blue-star, jaguar, and the desert tortoise are an important part of our Southwestern natural heritage, but these species are still imperiled.

And then ask a question from below:

Do you pledge to support habitat conservation, as well as policies and funding to protect and recover imperiled plants, fish and wildlife in our state? And if so, what specific actions would you support?

Will you support the full recovery of the Mexican gray wolf based on the best available science and what actions will you take?

Do you pledge to protect wildlife and plants that are dependent on water in our state? And if so, what policies would you support?

Great Plains

Say:

Iconic species of fish & wildlife such as the black footed ferret, whooping crane, pallid sturgeon, blowout penstemon, Gypsum wild buckwheat, small white ladies slipper orchid, and western prairie fringed orchid are an important part of our Great Plains heritage, but these species are in decline.

And then ask a question from below:

Do you pledge to support habitat conservation, as well as policies and funding to protect and recover imperiled plants, fish and wildlife in our state? And if so, what specific actions would you support?

Gulf Coast

Say:

Iconic species of plants, fish, and wildlife such as sea turtles, Gulf sturgeon, bald cypress, relict trillium, whorled sunflower, Southern ladies slipper, and least tern are an important part of our Gulf Coast natural heritage, but these species are in decline.

And then ask a question from below:

Do you pledge to support habitat conservation, as well as policies and funding to protect and recover imperiled plants, fish and wildlife in our state? And if so, what specific actions would you support?

What policies will you support to reduce the impacts of climate change on our state?

How will you protect our state from the negative impacts of offshore oil drilling?

Great Lakes

Say:

Iconic species of plants, fish, and wildlife such as whooping cranes, piping plovers, dwarf lake iris, Eastern prairie fringed orchid, Michigan monkey-flower, Lakeside daisy, and Canada lynx, are an important part of our Great Lakes natural heritage, but these species are in decline.

And then ask a question from below:

Do you pledge to support habitat conservation, as well as policies and funding to protect and recover imperiled plants, fish and wildlife in our state? And if so, what specific actions would you support?

What specific steps would you take to improve the poor state management that we have for wolves and other imperiled species?

What steps will you take to address unlimited hounding practices?

Northeast

Say:

Iconic species of plants, fish, and wildlife such as Canada lynx, piping plovers, Eastern prairie fringed orchid, Jessup’s milkvetch, Northern wild monkshood, Swamp pink, and Northern right whales are an important part of the Northeast’s natural heritage, but these species are in decline.

And then ask one question from below:

Do you pledge to support habitat conservation, as well as policies and funding to protect and recover imperiled plants, fish and wildlife in our state? And if so, what specific actions would you support?

What do you propose to do about lobster gear entanglements with highly endangered N. Atlantic Right whales?

Mid-Atlantic

Iconic species of plants, fish, and wildlife such as the leatherback sea turtles, Indiana bat, rusty-patched bumblebee, shortnose sturgeon, ladies slipper orchids, fringed gentian, large purple fringed orchid, Virginia mallow, and red knot are an important part of our region’s natural heritage, but these species are in decline. Do you pledge to support habitat conservation, as well as policies and funding to protect and recover imperiled plants, fish and wildlife in our state? And if so, what specific actions would you support?

Southeast

Say:

Iconic species of plants, fish, and wildlife such as sea turtles, manatees, bald cypress, mangrove, Alabama canebrake pitcher-plant, Carolina hedge nettle, persistant trillium, and whales are an important part of our region’s natural heritage, but these species are in decline.

And then ask one question from below:

What do you propose to do to protect sea turtles, whales and all of the other endangered species that contribute to our local economy?  

Nature in many beautiful forms, from lagoons to beaches, is the most important economic driver in our region. What will you do to protect our habitats? 

Go vote! Thank you for your service to America by participating in our democratic process!  

Made in partnership with the Native Plant Conservation Campaign.

Participating Organizations