VEP: What We Do
Since 1993, the Voter Education Program (VEP) has been a national leader on research, analysis, and program development serving Washington’s conservation community. The VEP’s List Enhancement Project has been replicated in over 30 other states, and our Permanent Absentee Program has inspired similar efforts in over 10 other states. The “Cycle of Accountability,” an organizing principle for our work, has also become a model nationwide for the State Conservation Voter League movement.
What's Happening Now
For the third year in a row, WEC’s Voter Education Program has teamed up with El Centro de la Raza to conduct a Get Out the Vote effort to 60,000 Latino voters across the state. For the rest of the month, WEC and El Centro will be conducting volunteer phone banks.
If you’re in the Seattle area, we’d love to have your help. Phone banks are every Wednesday in October from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. For more information or to RSVP, contact Shannon Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206.621.2628.
Every year the VEP leads the environmental community in:
- Identifying and engaging thousands of environmentally-minded citizens in the democratic process
- Training activists to help make a difference for the environment in their communities
- Working in broad coalitions with other nonprofits, labor, faith-based groups, and businesses
- Providing leadership and strategic direction for the Washington environmental community
- Increasing the capacity of environmental organizations across the Northwest
- Conducting rigorous evaluations of our programs and sharing the results
- Serving as a leader on ballot measures and initiatives that affect environmental quality
Through these types of activities, the environment has been given a more powerful voice in local and statewide elections across Washington.
- Activist Trainings and Community Forums
An engaged “base” of voters is one of the keys to increased environmental protection. WEC-sponsored activist trainings help individuals become more effective advocates for our air, land, and water. Each year we also sponsor community forums across Washington to connect environmental supporters with their elected officials.
- "Green Voter" Identification
Each year, the Voter
Education Program works to identify thousands of environmental
supporters in places where the environmental community does not have a
strong presence. These lists are used to help organize grassroots
support for environmental protection, a crucial first step in
expanding the base of environmental support in Washington.
- Polling and Research
The Voter Education Program conducts nonpartisan public opinion
research about the environmental interests of voters in the state. This
important research informs the Environmental Priorities process
and aids our communications team in developing powerful messages. By
studying the effectiveness of specific issues, messages, and strategies,
the Voter Education Program can educate the entire statewide community
on the most effective ways to engage and motivate voters around
strengthening environmental protections.
- List Enhancement
enhancement is the process of matching conservation group membership
lists with external information, such as state voter records. Since 1995
this innovative program has improved the ability of environmental
organizations to offer better and effective services,
from providing information, raising money, or public education and
advocacy. The Voter Education Program pioneered the application of list
enhancement technology and continues to expand this popular program.
- Voter Engagement
Environmental organizations have a great opportunity to engage their members in non-partisan ways every election year. Environmental group members need to be registered to vote, educated on the issues, have access to information, and lastly cast a ballot. The Voter Education Program provides the tools and information necessary for our partner organizations to reach out to their members on these important issues.