We’re excited to announce that applications are now open for the 2018 Voter Education Fund. King County Elections and Seattle Foundation are awarding $460,000 in grants to increase voter engagement in underserved communities.
Organizations encouraged to apply include, but are not limited to, those serving communities of color, limited-English speaking communities, people with disabilities, low-income youth, veterans, people experiencing homelessness, and people who have been convicted of a felony.
When I was running to be your Director of Elections, I attended a candidate forum organized by a Vietnamese-American civic group. I asked the audience of about 100 people to raise their hands if they knew King County Elections translated voting materials into Vietnamese. To my surprise, only one person raised their hand. I knew then that we needed to work harder for a more inclusive voting process.
We’re excited to announce the recipients of the Voter Education Fund. King County Elections and Seattle Foundation are providing $435,000 in grants for voter engagement in communities that are historically underrepresented in the democratic process.
A total of 30 community-based organizations are receiving funding to offer basic education about voting in King County and technical assistance, such as helping voters complete a voter registration form.
The fund offered community-based organizations the opportunity to apply for up to $25,000 to develop a 9-month campaign to engage voters or potential voters and up to $10,000 to provide a series of smaller events.
Earlier this year, King County Elections and the Seattle Foundation kicked-off an initiative to address the need for voter education and culturally relevant technical assistance with limited-English speaking communities.
We are excited to announce that we’ll be partnering with 22 community-based organizations to help us do that work. They are:
Asian Counseling and Referral Services
Eritrean Community in Seattle and Vicinity
Inter*Im Community Development Association
International Community Health Services
Iraqi Community Center and South King County Emerging Communities for Equity partners Bhutanese Community Resource Center of WA, Nsanga Corporation and Partner in Employment
Korean American Coalition
Latino Community Fund and partners South Park Information and Resource Center and Colectiva Legal del Pueblo
Open Doors for Multicultural Families
Somali Community Services
Somali Family Safety Task Force
Somali Youth and Family Club
White Center Community Development Association and partner Coalition of Immigrants, Refugees and Communities of Color
Organizations will provide voter education through outreach activities such as gatherings (e.g. workshops or ballot parties) that will help educate LES voters on the voting and democratic process. They will also provide LES voters with technical assistance on how to complete a voter registration form, how to update voter information, and where to find a ballot drop box.
Increasing voter access for all voters is a priority for Elections and this is a big step in the right direction! Stay tuned for detailed stories on how these community organizations are connecting with limited English-speaking residents and helping to engage King County’s diverse communities.