Voter Information programs typically occur immediately before an election, usually as a one-off event. These programs provide basic information enabling qualified citizens to vote, including: date, time, and place of voting; type of election; identification necessary to establish eligibility; registration requirements; and mechanisms for voting. Programs constitute basic facts about the election and do not require the explanation of concepts. They develop new messages for each election, consist of activities that can be implemented quickly and are usually provided by election authorities, although contestants in the election and civil society organizations may also do so.
This module specifically considers Voter Information and Awareness Programs – as defined in this module. This definition encompasses programs that are conducted in conjunction with, or specifically, for an election process. This module should be used in conjunction with the Civic Education module. There is much overlap between Voter Information and Civic Education modules – many repeated (generic) sections – and many complimentary activities. When facilitators are designing agendas for their participants – they should have a clear understanding of the terminology used in these modules (especially how Voter Information, Voter Awareness, Electoral Education, Civic Education are defined and differentiated), and a clear idea of what the participants are expecting the topic to be about. Training objectives should be built around the needs/expectations of the participants.
Agendas (for 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5-day durations) have been designed that examine the concepts of Voter Information and Awareness programs, and Civic (and Electoral) Education programs – discretely, and also in combination (so both are covered).
The subjects covered in this module include:
As with other BRIDGE modules, practical considerations are given to program design and implementation such as methods of monitoring and evaluation and the development of timelines and detailed plans.
The module is highly interactive and successful presentation will require full involvement of the participants in a number of culturally appropriate activities. The module should provide a framework and methodology for EMBs to develop highly effective, focused and cost effective voter information programs that ensure that voters are well informed on electoral events.