Research has shown that nonpartisan Integrated Voter Engagement (IVE) is among the most effective ways to increase voter turnout. IVE groups train community members to reach out to their peers in a continuous, ongoing effort that increases the number of voters and leads to policy changes. The most effective IVE organizations add new people to the voter registration rolls, educate voters and election issues, make sure new and unlikely voters actually cast their ballots, and ensure that misinformation and intimidation don’t inhibit people from voting. In addition, their work has a long-term impact by developing local leaders and involving people in shaping the public policy decisions that affect their lives.
While there are many examples of nonprofits that employ IVE, the following case studies profile the work of four organizations-the Colorado Progressive Coalition, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, SCOPE/AGENDA and Ohio ACORN. These four were selected not only because they do excellent work, but because each example illustrates different aspects of Integrated Voter Engagement. Our goal in writing and distributing these case studeis is ot show that voter engagement work looks like, concretely, on the ground. Each piece represent but a slice of what the group does, and as always there were many more groups that we wanted to include in this project but could not. Each case study focuses on work accomplished during the 2006 election cycle with a postscript that captures highlights of their achievements in 2008.