Supporting Democracy and Civic Engagement

GCF partners with Cincinnati NAACP to strengthen democracy through innovative voter registration.

The 2024 election season is upon us – from choosing the next president, electing senators and state-wide officials, voting on ballot issues and more, the outcome of this year’s election holds gravity for every person living in the United States. Our local chapter of the NAACP is on a mission to ensure that more community members have a voice when it comes to governance. The organization will launch an innovative mobile civic engagement unit funded in part by the Racial Justice Fund at Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

The Cincinnati Chapter of the NAACP is a non-partisan advocacy organization founded in 1915 and is among more than 2,200 NAACP branches across the nation. Today, the Cincinnati NAACP is active in the community, advocating for local residents and working to eliminate disparities that exist in education, healthcare, housing, economics and more. Through seventeen committees, Cincinnati NAACP members create community impact.

The Voter Empowerment Committee engages residents through education, training, and advocacy efforts to drive voter turnout. This year, the committee is taking a new, innovative approach by launching a mobile unit outfitted with computers, printers and Wi-Fi.

This mobile unit equips Cincinnati NAACP with the necessary technology to help voters register on the spot, check their voter registration, access educational materials, learn about changes to voting laws and more. Joe Mallory, president of the Cincinnati NAACP explains, “We’re meeting people where they are with a civic engagement unit. We’re going into the community and educating them, so they are empowered to make informed decisions when they cast a vote.”

The Cincinnati NAACP’s mobile voter unit presents an opportunity to break down some of the barriers that exist when preparing to cast a vote, such as language and reading level barriers, fears of casting the wrong vote or making mistakes on the ballot, misinformation, and a disconnect to the issues and candidates. All of these factors make the mobile unit an important avenue for increased civic engagement. “We’re on the ground, engaging the community directly,” said Mallory.

The mobile unit will be out in the community in early spring. The Cincinnati NAACP will take the mobile unit to community events and historically marginalized neighborhoods where voter turnout is low. The mobile unit will operate year-round because civic engagement isn’t just reserved for election season.

Learn more about the Cincinnati NAACP Voter Empowerment Committee and mobile unit here.