FAQS

Who can be an Activator?

An Activator is someone who can’t vote. Someone under-18, or perhaps an older undocumented person, or “Dreamer,” who came to this country at a young age and seeks rights. An Activator can even be someone who lost voting privileges after a conviction or is eligible to vote but unable to obtain proper I.D. What matters is the connection.

What is the Activator’s role?

The Activator asks a Proxy to promise to vote. The Activator makes sure the Proxy is all set with  the ballot information, polling place location, and voter IDs they need. The Activator keeps in touch with the Proxy, and makes sure that Proxy votes on November 6th, (or before, if early-voting, or using an absentee ballot).

Who makes the best Proxy?

Your target Proxy is someone who’s registered—but doesn’t have a history of voting. Maybe it’s somebody who thinks “My vote doesn’t matter.” “It’s only the midterms.” “I’m too busy to vote.” “Last time I forgot.” “All politicians are the same.”  You “activate” by convincing: If you don’t vote, you can’t complain, so vote. Do it for me, because change can’t wait. Your vote could be the one that makes the difference.

A Proxy can be somebody who’s in college now but you know from your sports team, your band, your school club. Someone who might need help getting an absentee ballot, or voting in their college town. A Proxy can be the barista at the coffee shop, a neighbor, a friend of your parents,’ or a relative. The ideal Proxy is someone who wouldn’t vote without that extra push from you.

Should an Activator try to change a Proxy’s mind?

That’s up to each individual. But if you find your voter disagrees with you, you may not want to extend the effort to get them to the polls!  You may want to find a different Proxy.

The Proxy Project can NOT endorse any candidate or be involved with a specific campaign. But individuals can advocate for certain issues that matter, so please talk over the issues and candidates with your Proxy! If you agree on candidates and issues, then your Proxy will have your back!

Can I sign up more than one Proxy?

No. We think the one-to-one connection works best. If you do find more than one Proxy, match them with a friend who wants to be an “Activator.” And please convince as many friends as you can to join the movement by becoming Activators and finding themselves a Proxy.

Can I have a Proxy in a different state or district?

Absolutely! Maybe you live in a district where your voice on the issues has already been heard by your representatives, and you’d like to Get Out The Vote in another district. Find a Proxy there and make sure they’re properly registered and know where to vote.

Special note: If your Proxy lives in another state (a college student, for example), but is voting in your state–make sure they have an absentee ballot. Check www.vote.org for info.

How do I convince my Proxy to vote on November 6th?

You decide: text, email, phone, social media. Ask your proxy:

  • How many reminders do you need?
  • Do you have a voting plan?
  • Do you know where your polling place is?
  • Do you need an absentee ballot?
  • Confirm they’re all set.

Let your Proxy know you’re counting on them

I can’t, but you can.

Do it for me, because change can’t wait.

Don’t let me down on November 6th.

Can I take a leadership role in The Proxy Project?

Yes! You can become a Proxy Project Captain in your district or your school. Sign up here and you’ll get a downloadable Toolkit to get started.

Do I need approval or permission for my campaign plan?

The Proxy Project is meant to be run by you, with support from the website (when the full version goes live September 14th) and our founding student organizers. Contact us at info@theproxyproject.net  if you have questions, need more resources or other help. Check the Toolkit for guidelines on use of our logo, fonts, branding colors and ideas for running a successful campaign.

I can vote, but I need an Activator, how do I get one?

First, be sure you’re registered, and make a voting plan. Then, recruit an Activator to The Proxy Project. Perhaps you know a “Dreamer”– someone raised in the US but without voting rights because of citizenship status? Do you know an incarcerated person, or someone otherwise disenfranchised? Partner with them and, together, register here at our website.

 

If you don’t have anyone in mind, here are apps and organizations to motivate you:
Outvote: Upload your contacts and find out who among your friends is a reliable voter and who isn’t. (Voting records are public information).

Friends don’t let friends not vote. End slacktivism forever!

MotivoteUS: A fun Get-Out-The-Vote tool, that uses points and rewards for recruiting voters to the polls.

How can I spread the word about The Proxy Project?

  • Sign up to be a Captain and start a chapter of The Proxy Project in your school or community.
  • Use social media. Make a local FB group, Instagram, or Twitter. Use Snapchat, Reddit and other platforms.  Post and share your activity and encourage your friends to participate. See our Toolkit for ideas and to download logos, fonts, images and other branding for the campaign.
  • Organize a competition to see who can sign up the most proxies–in the school, town, or district. Challenge groups — homerooms, teams or clubs — to compete with each other to sign up the most proxies.

Are there rewards for groups or schools that recruit the most Proxies?

Local organizers may reach out to businesses in their communities to see if they want to donate goods or services to encourage civic participation among young people.

Who initiated The Proxy Project?

A pair of journalists, a lawyer, and some activist high school students. One of the founders of this project started Women On 20s, the grassroots campaign to put a woman on the $20 bill. The campaign went viral and succeeded in convincing the US treasury to put women on three bills, including Harriet Tubman on the $20!  With your help, we’re aiming for similar success with The Proxy Project!

What laws pertain to the Proxy Project?

We are a 501(c)(4) organization. That means we are a non-profit corporation, which pays no taxes. Therefore we MAY NOT campaign for a specific candidate, or be affiliated with any particular campaign for public office. We CAN devote resources and lobbying efforts to specific causes, political points of view, or issues such as gun law reform or climate change. Contributions to our corporation are NOT tax-deductible.

Is it legal to ask someone to vote on my behalf?

Yes, If they are legally registered to vote and no one is paying them or forcing them to do so. Only one vote is being cast — theirs. But they are promising you that they will show up at the polls. It’s no different from an interest group or a Get Out The Vote (GOTV) organization contacting a voter and asking them to cast a ballot in the interest of their platform.