Today, at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, the NFL family kicks off the third season of its NFL Votes initiative. NFL Votes is a league-wide, nonpartisan initiative that supports and encourages civic engagement among NFL players and Legends, club and league personnel, and fans. The initiative was founded in August 2020 as a joint effort between the NFL and the NFL Players Association and focuses on three key components of the electoral process: voter education, voter registration, and voter activation.
All 32 NFL clubs and players throughout the league support this initiative and will engage in various efforts to highlight the importance of voting and to encourage fans to become informed and effective voters. With the upcoming midterm elections, NFL Votes will emphasize that our democracy is not a spectator sport and that everyone who is eligible should make his or her voice heard in the elections taking place in all 50 states. In the elections, voters will elect all 435 U.S. House members, about one-third of the U.S. Senate, governors in 36 states, and numerous local and state officials – all of whom help to shape the priorities and direction of the country.
"Since its inception in 2020, NFL Votes has used its platform to help promote and encourage active participation in our country's democratic process and one of our most fundamental rights, voting," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "We are proud of this league-wide, non-partisan initiative that will continue through the upcoming midterm elections and beyond to educate, register and activate voters nationwide alongside our non-partisan partners in the civic engagement space."
As part of the initiative, all 30 NFL stadiums are available to be utilized for election-related activities, if needed by local election officials. In 2020, such activities included early voting, drop-off, or Election Day polling sites. In addition, starting Week 2 of the NFL season during the runup to National Voter Registration Day on September 20, NFL Votes will launch a marketing campaign to further drive awareness and promote registration across the NFL and beyond, which will include television spots, social extensions, and "NFL Votes" field stencils and more. The campaign will continue through National Voter Education Week starting October 4 and culminate on November 8 – Election Day.
This season, the NFL also announced Vet the Vote as a new, non-partisan partner. Vet the Vote is a coalition of nearly 30 veteran and military service organizations and civic groups, which aims to address a national shortage of poll workers by recruiting and training military veterans and their families to help our elections run effectively. Vet the Vote joins I am a voter., Rock the Vote, and RISE, have been partners of the league and clubs since 2020, helping with the overall education, registration, and activation phases of NFL Votes across the country.
During today's game in Canton, fans will be able to register to vote at an NFL Votes booth inside Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. In addition, military veterans and military family members will be able to sign up to volunteer and train as non-partisan poll workers. Representatives from Rock the Vote and Vet the Vote will staff the booth. In addition, during pregame warmups, fans will be encouraged to vote through in-stadium signage, live announcements, and a text-to-vote code provided on the stadium video board.
NFL Votes has made the below progress since its inception in 2020:
- Every NFL player, in addition to every club and league employee, has received comprehensive voter education and access to voter information and support. In addition, every NFL Legend has access to education and support.
- Approximately 90 percent of active players are registered to vote, and, in 2020, several clubs reported achieving 100 percent player registration.
- Half of the clubs used stadiums or facilities for election-related activities, including early voting, ballot drop-off, or Election Day polling sites. More than 66,000 voters cast ballots at NFL sites.
- All 32 clubs united to promote the initiative, which reached more than 160 million people.
More information on NFL Votes' non-partisan partner organizations:
- I am a voter.: I am a voter.® is a nonpartisan movement that aims to create a cultural shift around voting and civic engagement by unifying around a central truth: our democracy works best when we all participate.
- RISE: RISE is a national nonprofit that uses sport as a vehicle for social justice. Through our RISE to Vote program, we engage athletes, coaches and staff at all levels, educating them on how to vote and why it matters. We equip them with the tools and knowledge to get involved, make a difference and inspire their fans to be civically active.
- Rock the Vote: Rock the Vote is a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to building the political power of young people. For 30 years, Rock the Vote has revolutionized the way we use pop culture, music, art, and technology to engage young people in politics and build our collective power.
- Vet the Vote: Vet the Vote is a pro-democracy, nonprofit and non-partisan national campaign to recruit 100,000 veterans and military family members to become the next generation of poll workers. As many as 130,000 poll workers have left their positions over the last five years, and poll worker shortage has led to longer wait times for voters, and even some polling sites shutting down.