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Students Demand Action, Everytown Launch Ohio Virtual Field Office Focused on Registering Young Voters— Mobilizing People Where They are During Pandemic

4.14.2020

The Program Will be Driven by Ohio Students Demand Action Volunteers Using Virtual Tools to Register People in Their Online Networks

Ohio Students Demand Action Volunteers are Available for Interviews 

COLUMBUS, Ohio. — Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund (“Everytown”) and Students Demand Action, a part of Everytown, announced the launch of Ohio’s new Students Demand Action Virtual Field Office, focused on registering young voters virtually. Last week, Everytown and Students Demand Action announced a $1.5 million program to register 100,000 young voters. 

With the launch of Ohio’s virtual field office, Students Demand Action volunteers will register thousands of voters, work to get out the vote, and engage young people in gun violence prevention campaigns, all from home while practicing social distancing. Volunteers will collaborate on various online platforms, such as Zoom, Slack, and more, and will be trained in relational organizing — an innovative way to engage existing social networks to have meaningful conversations in order to talk about the importance of voting, how to register, and why their vote matters.

“Gun violence continues to impact our communities, even during the coronavirus pandemic and we’re not going to let one public health crisis prevent us from addressing another,” said Mitchell Pinsky, a sophomore at The Ohio State University, and the founder and group leader of Students Demand Action at The Ohio State University. “We’ve grown up in a time when the devastation of gun violence has become commonplace in our schools, homes, and communities. But no more. This year, we’re fighting for the safety we deserve by registering young voters, increasing voter turnout, and electing gun sense candidates up and down the ballot.”

Everytown is committing at least $1.5 million to the voter registration program, which will include more than a dozen paid organizers who will help lead efforts across battleground states. When it’s safe to organize in-person, organizers will continue with in-person voter registration efforts on college campuses, where they will recruit new Students Demand Action volunteers and train volunteers in effective voter registration tools and tactics. 

Students Demand Action’s voter registration initiative will include:

  • Investing $1.5 million, including hiring at least a dozen paid organizers focused on registering voters in key battleground states;
  • Establishing virtual field offices, where students will gather to strategize how to meet voter registration goals. Virtual field offices will have access to cutting edge organizing tools and technology, including Zoom, Slack, Icebreaker, Hustle, and more, giving volunteers the tools they need to be successful in virtual voter registration efforts;
  • Extensive training in relational organizing, which involves leveraging relationships to encourage others to vote. This organizing method has been proven to be more effective than traditional canvassing, allowing volunteers to register their friends, family, classmates, and acquaintances. Students Demand Action volunteers will deploy this tactic digitally, while continuing to practice physical distancing;
  • Targeted online voter registration ads geared toward young people.