BROADCAST PUBLIC SERVICE
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2016 Election Toolkit

Informing Voters

Voter education matters. Television is the most influential medium when it comes to informing voters, according to a Voter Funnel study from GfK. When you make issues and candidates’ positions a key part of your programming, you give your audience the tools to make an informed vote.

  • Become an Election 2016 resource. Make your station a comprehensive source for everything your community needs to know about election issues and candidates. Dedicate a regular portion of your news or talk segments to election issues, and link to videocasts and podcasts of your station’s coverage on your website. Use social media to direct audiences to voter resources.
  • Go local. Engage viewers with coverage of state, city and county ballot issues and initiatives. Show your audience they have a personal stake in the election by helping them understand how national issues effect your community. Interview community leaders, representatives from local organizations and other local experts about the issues that matter to your audience. Develop content that helps ¬your audience understand how the issues affect their everyday lives.
  • Educate voters on changes. Many states have passed a variety of new laws including changes to voter ID requirements, registration procedures and early voting periods. Share the updates through broadcasts, PSAs, your station’s website, email blasts and social media.
  • Tell all sides. Help voters understand all sides of ballot and referendum issues. Give equal airtime to each candidate. Host discussions with experts offering nonpartisan information, and allow both proponents and opponents of initiatives to share their views.
  • Run candidate profiles. Inform voters about their Election Day choices by airing regular profiles on those running for office. Make candidate profiles easily accessible and comparable from your station’s website and link to online resources like votesmart.org.
  • Offer free airtime and webtime. Give candidates free airtime and webtime to address potential voters and discuss their stances on important issues. Encourage viewers and listeners to submit questions through social media, and answer them online or on-air. Make sure to tell listeners that this time is being provided by your station as a public service to the community.