WHI communicates the connection between voting and health with new toolkit

Research from the Healthy Democracy, Healthy People initiative that shows states with more inclusive voting policies and greater levels of civic participation have better health outcomes. 

Furthermore, the research demonstrates that low voter participation drives health disparities, as barriers become self-reinforcing. People experiencing poor health are less likely to vote because they have to manage their health foremost. While healthy people are more likely to have the time, energy, and a greater ability to follow the necessary policies and procedures to vote.

Our new toolkit provides information and tools that encourage people to vote

In an effort to give Washtenaw County residents the necessary tools to vote, WHI stakeholders are preparing to release a “Vote for Health” toolkit. It includes education around the connection between health and voting access, alongside practical tools to help voters educate themselves before casting their ballot.

The toolkit includes a one-pager that explores civic participation as a social determinant of health, focusing on the connection between health and voting access. It discusses how electoral outcomes are largely influenced by differences in participation—often, due to social, economic, and health inequities. When low-income community members abstain from voting because of their health, elected officials are less representative of the entire community’s needs. 

To help “get out the vote”, the toolkit also includes a “What to Know About Voting in 2022” flyer.  The flyer contains information about health and voting, along with practical information about redistricting and changes to polling place locations. It also includes a QR code that takes people to a webpage with information about how to register to vote, request an absentee ballot, find their polling place, and how to get a sample ballot before the election.

We’re spreading the word—but we need your help, too!

The WHI hopes to make a positive impact by informing Washtenaw County residents about how voting affects their health, while also equipping them with the tools to make sure they are ready to cast their vote.

The information from this toolkit will be shared in a series of WHI social media posts, beginning this August and leading up to the midterm elections. However, we’d love for your organization to help us spread the word!

Make sure your organization follows the WHI’s social media pagesFacebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. We’d appreciate your organizations’ sharing and reposting our original posts.

We’d also love for our member organizations to share the toolkit through their own preferred communication channels. Stay tuned for a special email that will go out to all WHI members when the toolkit is complete.

Do you have questions or suggestions for us? Or would you like to get more involved in this effort? 

Please email our team at whi-communications@umich.edu.