Dance/USA, as a nonpartisan organization, remains focused and committed to ensuring the dance ecosystem has a favorable environment to provide highly-valued performances, educational events, and cultural programs. Dance/USA champions an inclusive and equitable dance field by leading, convening, advocating, and supporting individuals and organizations.
The November 2022 elections at all levels of government are consequential, especially – at this time – for the future viability of the dance ecosystem and overall arts and cultural sector. It is essential for all creative workers to do their civic responsibility as American citizens and ambassadors of the arts and cultural sector to vote to protect the arts now and in the future.
Dance/USA encourages all who are supportive of the arts to vote, vote early, and to spread the word throughout the arts sector and in their local communities to vote to support the arts that strengthen schools, students, families, local communities, and the nation!
Dance/USA has developed an elections toolkit with the objective, along with the get-out-to-vote campaign – #Dance2Vote, to ensure creative workers, interested stakeholders, and the general public have the most accurate information about voting during the November 8, 2022 elections and know the relevant issues impacting the dance industry and overall arts and cultural sector.
At the federal level, the upcoming elections are mid-term elections – between the Presidential election – in which all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 35 of the 100seats in the U.S. Senate will be contested. At the state level, 39 state and territorial governor seats will be contested as well as most state legislative seats. At the local level, seats will be contested across the country. Please go to the website of your local board of elections to find out more about your local elections and referenda to be voted upon. Please note that this is the first election to be impacted by redistricting as a result of the 2020 Census.
How Nonprofits Can Legally Participate in Elections
What a 501(c)3 Organization Cannot Do
It is important to note the Internal Revenue Code that governs section 501(c)(3) organizations concerning elections. Under the Internal Revenue Code, such organizations are “absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Any contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity.” In other words, 501(c)3 organizations cannot ask people to vote for specific candidates and they cannot donate funds to political candidates or political campaigns.
What a 501(c)3 Organization Can Do
However, 501(c)3 organizations can encourage people to participate in the election process, including voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, in a non-partisan way and without bias towards a certain candidate(s) or political party. 501(c)3 organizations can contact candidates and parties in an election, both to seek their views on issues and to communicate the organization’s views. 501(c)3 organizations CAN also take public positions on local referenda, ballot initiatives, propositions, tax levies, etc., if they do not cross the line into party or candidate endorsement.
What Individuals Can Do
Individuals within 501(c)3organizations CAN get involved in elections, as American citizens, as much as they want. However, individuals are not allowed to associate themselves with their organization in any way in their political activities.
Click HEREfor further information concerning allowable and prohibited activities during elections under the Internal Revenue Code that governs 501(c)(3) organizations. Click HERE for further information concerning lobbying activities under the Internal Revenue Code that governs 501(c)(3) organizations.
COVID-19 Election Information and Resources
It is important for voters to be safe if they decide to vote in person or deliver their ballots in person to their respective polling places. Dance/USA recommends that voters still practice social distancing, wear personal protective equipment, including masks and gloves, and wash their hands or use sanitizer immediately after voting to protect against the virus. Please note that states and local governments may have additional health and safety protocols for the November 2022 elections. Please check your state and local election office websites for further information.
In-Person Voter Registration Deadlines
Every American citizen should be registered to vote as this is a civic responsibility. Below are the voter registration deadlines for voting in person in each of the 50 states, Washington, DC and the U.S. territories. Click on the state to find out how to register and/or register with your secretary of state. Based on where you reside, information may be available concerning the ability to vote by mail and absentee ballot. State election websites also provide polling place locators and voter ID requirements (i.e., current driver’s license or state-issued ID).
*** Most of the Information is compiled from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), an independent, bipartisan commission established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002, that serves to be a national clearinghouse of information on election administration.
Engaging Candidates On The Issues
Besides voting, creative workers and interested stakeholders should engage candidates from all the political parties about various issues impacting the arts. There are and will be numerous opportunities this fall season to engage in a variety of ways, including, but not limited to, candidate forums, debates, social media chats, and town halls. Nonprofit VOTE has great information about effectively engaging political candidates. Below are a listing of major issues impacting the dance community and the arts sector.
CONTINUED MAJOR CHALLENGES
Candidates from all the political parties need to know how the pandemic and adverse weather conditions this year have impacted your company, non-profit organization, individual creative workers, and the overall arts and cultural sector. It is important that they know how you, your company or non-profit organization, and the overall arts and cultural sector can be supported to survive and thrive during these challenging times as the arts and cultural sector is a unique and major economic contributor at the national, state, and local levels. Most state arts councils have economic data that can be shared with all political candidates about the arts sector’s economic contributions beyond the cultural and creative contributions. Below are key issues that Dance/USA tracks and advocates in support of on behalf of the dance ecosystem. Please utilize these issue briefs in your ongoing advocacy engagement with your elected officials.
Below are additional resources to inform voters during the November 2022 elections at all levels. Please note that Dance/USA is a nonpartisan organization and does not endorse or oppose political candidates or political parties. Please let Dance/USA know if there are any additional resources that should be listed to ensure all interested stakeholders have the most accurate information heading into the November 2022 elections. Please contact Tony Shivers, Director of Government Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org with any further resources or information.
Open Progress – A non-partisan initiative to reach voters under 30 years of age in Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other communities of Color (BIPOC) communities.
RepresentUs – A nonpartisan election reform initiative to help voters get the information they need.
RocktheVote – A nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to building the political power of young people.
When We All Vote – A non-profit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to increase participation in every election and close race and age voting gaps by changing the culture around voting, harnessing grassroots energy, and through strategic partnerships to reach every American.
Vote.org – The largest 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan voting registration, and get out the vote (GOTV) technology platform in America.
Vote411 – Developed by the League of Women Voters Action Fund that provides voting resources and information for voters across the country. State and local affiliates host various candidate forums during the election season.
Dance/USA encourages creative workers and interested stakeholders to vote, vote early, and spread the word to their families, colleagues, friends, and local communities. Social media and email are powerful, effective, and efficient ways to accomplish this objective. Below are sample social media posts, emails, and stickers that can be leveraged.
Sample Social Media Posts
Below are suggested posts for Twitter, Facebook, and/or Instagram heading into the November 2022 elections and during Election Day. Once you have voted in-person, please take a picture with your I VOTED sticker outside of the polling place. If voting by mail, please take a picture of yourself dropping off your sealed ballot at the post office. Please post your pictures to your social media platforms and use the hashtag #Dance2Vote to emphasize the importance of voting and the need to support the dance industry and overall arts and cultural sector. Below are sample social media posts you can tailor and use.
Please register to vote and vote early during the November 2022 elections. This is your civic responsibility. More info can be found at https://bit.ly/33AedKK. #Dance2Vote
Find out when you can vote early during the November 2022 elections in your state. Please do not wait until November 8 to vote. More info at https://bit.ly/33AedKK. #Dance2Vote
Need to figure out how to request and submit your absentee or mail-in ballot application? Do not wait. Request your ballot as early as possible. More info at https://bit.ly/33AedKK. #Dance2Vote
I voted during the November 2022 elections. Have you voted yet? Vote and vote early! More info at https://bit.ly/33AedKK. #Dance2Vote
Arts and culture are an important part of any local community. We need your support! First step is voting in the November 2022 elections! Vote and vote early! More info at https://bit.ly/33AedKK. #Dance2Vote
Need to find your polling place or need a ride to the polls? You can find that info in the Dance/USA election toolkit – https://bit.ly/33AedKK. #Dance2Vote
Dance/USA urges all who are supportive of the arts to vote and vote early! More info at https://bit.ly/33AedKK. #Dance2Vote
Sample General Email
Just a reminder that the November 8 elections at all levels are consequential elections for families, individuals, and the arts community. Please register to vote, vote early, and spread the word to your family members, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. Further information about voter registration, voting by mail or in-person, and being safe during the election season can be found at#Dance2Vote, which provides a variety of resources to ensure voters are informed heading into the polls.
Thank you in advance for your participation!
Sample Arts-Specific Email
Just a reminder that the November 8 elections at all levels are consequential elections for the arts. We need to ensure that the dance workers and other creative workers are supported during these challenging times as important contributors to the economy at all levels. Please register to vote, vote early, and spread the word to your family members, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. Further information about voter registration, voting by mail or in-person, and issues impacting the arts can be found at #Dance2Vote.
Any questions or inquiries about the Dance/USA #Dance2Vote campaign, 2022 election toolkit, voting in the November 2022 elections, and/or issues impacting the dance ecosystem and overall arts and cultural sector, should be directed to Tony Shivers, director of government affairs at email@example.com. Please note that this toolkit will be updated on a regular basis as new information becomes available.
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