Turning Out Voters Can Elect Pro-Housing Local Leaders
Home builders who play an active role in getting out the vote in the upcoming elections through a home builder network have a good chance of putting into office mayors, city council members and other local officials who are supportive of housing on such important issues as impact fees, zoning, and property-tax rates, according to NAHB's State and Local Reporter (a members-only site).
In a city of 50,000 residents, there will be approximately 22,000 registered voters and only about 6,000 of them will vote in a non-presidential election like the one that takes place this Nov. 6. Most local races have a winning margin of 5% to 10%, or 300 to 600 votes.
A home builders association with 200 members that makes a real effort to increase voter turnout can account for those 300 or so votes needed to win.
An estimated 1,000 possible voters can be reached by the HBA, including:
- 200 members of the association
- 150 spouses of those members
- 300 employees of those members
- 300 employees of subcontractors and supplier companies
- 50 lawyers, accountants, bankers, etc.
Here are a few steps that can help increase voter turnout of members and their contacts:
- During the week of Oct. 8, send an e-mail or letter from the HBA president to each member and associate member reminding them of the upcoming election. Include an absentee ballot request form, which can be found online at the secretary of state’s Web site.
- Make sure the candidates supported by the HBA (or association PAC) have a chance to speak to the membership.
- The week of Oct. 22 send an e-mail or letter from the HBA president to each member and associate member reminding them to send in their absentee ballot or go to an early voting booth before the deadline; this varies by state. Also encourage employers to allow employees to fill out ballots or go to an early voting booth during an extended lunch break.
- On Sunday, Nov. 4 and Monday, Nov. 5, HBA leaders and the leaders of sponsorship companies should make phone calls and send personal e-mails to members and subcontractors to make sure that they have voted early or will vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
For more information on how home builders associations can step up their get-out-the-vote efforts, e-mail Karl Eckhart at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8126.