2016 Election Toolkit
Voter education matters. Television is the most influential medium when it comes to informing voters, according to a
Voter Funnel study from GfK. When you make issues and candidates’ positions a key part of your programming, you
give your audience the tools to make an informed vote.
- Become an Election 2016 resource. Make your station a
comprehensive source for everything your community needs to
know about election issues and candidates. Dedicate a regular
portion of your news or talk segments to election issues, and link to
videocasts and podcasts of your station’s coverage on your website.
Use social media to direct audiences to voter resources.
- Go local. Engage viewers with coverage of state, city and county
ballot issues and initiatives. Show your audience they have a
personal stake in the election by helping them understand how
national issues effect your community. Interview community leaders,
representatives from local organizations and other local experts
about the issues that matter to your audience. Develop content
that helps ¬your audience understand how the issues affect their
- Educate voters on changes. Many states have passed a
variety of new laws including changes to voter ID requirements,
registration procedures and early voting periods. Share the updates
through broadcasts, PSAs, your station’s website, email blasts and
- Tell all sides. Help voters understand all sides of ballot and
referendum issues. Give equal airtime to each candidate. Host
discussions with experts offering nonpartisan information, and allow
both proponents and opponents of initiatives to share their views.
- Run candidate profiles. Inform voters about their Election Day
choices by airing regular profiles on those running for office. Make
candidate profiles easily accessible and comparable from your
station’s website and link to online resources like votesmart.org.
- Offer free airtime and webtime. Give candidates free airtime
and webtime to address potential voters and discuss their stances
on important issues. Encourage viewers and listeners to submit
questions through social media, and answer them online or on-air.
Make sure to tell listeners that this time is being provided by your
station as a public service to the community.