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The Leadership Conference Education Fund's Census Counts Campaign

Counsel Organizations on How To Add Census Outreach to Get Out the Vote (GOTV) Plans

Census data distributes money and power. Help groups with limited resources adapt to this moment by combining census and voting outreach to take advantage of the extended census timeline.

Posted June 8, 2020

Background & Context

With the timeline for the 2020 Census extended well into the fall, Census Counts state and national organizations are looking to incorporate census outreach into planned get out the vote activities. State and national Census Counts partners are looking for volunteer lawyers to provide legal advice about how to best incorporate census outreach into GOTV efforts while staying compliant with state and federal law. Census Counts will match you with a state or national group to provide legal counsel on how to best combine census and voting outreach.

Immediate Problem

Before COVID-19, the 2020 Census was scheduled to end in July and Census Counts coalition partners would transition their infrastructure into get out the vote and other civic engagement activities. In a post COVID-19 world, the 2020 Census will now overlap with peak GOTV season. Census Counts and our State Count Action network leaders are fielding questions from coalition members looking for guidance on how to integrate census outreach work into their GOTV plans. Your support will help answer pressing questions so that groups can move from planning and research and into action. The types of questions that groups are asking include: What kinds of census can voting asks can we combine (census and voter registration/ census and absentee ballot request/ census and vote for XX candidate/ census and vote for XX party)? Can we incorporate a census ask into our GOTV phone banking or texting program? What types of organizations can participate in census and voting outreach work?

Work & Deliverables

The Census Counts campaign will ask our national and state partners whether they are seeking a legal consultation of their program. Once identified, we will connect the organization with the volunteer lawyer to set up a 30-60 minute consultation meeting to discuss the organizations questions and special circumstances. In some cases, the organization may send follow up questions by email after the meeting, if the volunteer is available to answer follow up questions.

Project Plan

Preparation Phase

  • Volunteers will be invited to participate in a 45 minute training about the project.
  • Volunteers will receive a memo about general guidance on incorporating census outreach into GOTV
  • (Optional) Volunteers are welcome to join a webinar for groups on this topic on 6/24 at 1 p.m.

Collaboration Phase

  • Census Counts will connect you to a coalition group (national or state) looking for advice by email
  • Volunteers should schedule a 30 minute to 1 hour meeting with the coalition group to provide advice
  • (Optional) Volunteer can provide the groups with an email address for follow up questions.

Wrap Up

  • Census Counts will check in with the coalition members for feedback.
  • Volunteers should provide Census Counts will any feedback or outstanding needs following the meeting

This project is complete!

This project has been completed thanks to the efforts of our volunteers.

Visit the Project Directory to check out other projects that still need your help!

Additional Information

  • Time Commitment: 1-5 hours
  • Training Provided: Yes
  • Additional Training Details: 45 minute training webinar will be provided.
  • Site-Preference: Remote
  • Open to Law Students: No
  • Additional Location Details: Phone, Zoom
  • Bar License(s) required: Any Bar License
  • Required Languages: None
  • Required Legal Expertise: Civil Rights, Other, Political Law, Voting Rights
  • Signup Deadline: June 29, 2020
  • Mentoring Provided: Yes
  • Supervision Provided: Yes
The Leadership Conference Education Fund's Census Counts Campaign

The Census Counts campaign, which is housed at The Leadership Conference Education Fund, brings together community-based organizations across a wide spectrum of advocacy: civil rights, immigrant, LGBTQ, disability, infant and child, poverty and homelessness, faith-based, labor, health care, education, youth, and more. Through education, training, organizing, and outreach, these organizers and advocates are working to ensure communities the census has historically missed are counted in the 2020 Census. The campaign has three main action groups: the national Get Out the Count (GOTC) coalition, the States Count Action Network, and Census Champions: a network of elected officials and library trustees working to ensure a fair and accurate count. Find more information about Census Counts at The Leadership Conference Education Fund builds public will for laws and policies that promote and protect the civil and human rights of every person in the United States. The Education Fund was founded in 1969 as the education and research arm of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the nation’s oldest and largest civil and human rights coalition of more than 200 national organizations. Find more information here:

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