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Community organizations invited to participate in voter education grants program

Newsletter
Image of voter w/ button with text: The Portland Votes 2024 Grant Program is open!  Help us promote this opportunity to support the City's voter education efforts. Apply by April 30, 2024 at Portland.gov/Vote/Grants
In November 2024, Portland voters will use ranked-choice voting to elect one mayor, one auditor and three councilors per district (12 councilors total) to pick their candidates. Portland Votes 2024 seeks to ensure that voters understand the new election method with non-partisan education.
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The Portland Votes 2024 grant application period is open until April 30. The City of Portland is partnering with community organizations on the voter education grants, and more details can be found on the City of Portland Votes 2024 website. The community grant recipients selected will assist in providing nonpartisan voter education materials and activities to communities that the City has had a hard time reaching, as well as those Portlanders who have historically lacked access to civic decision-making processes.

“This is the first time the City is mandated to educate voters,” said City of Portland Inclusive Democracy Project Manager Sofia Alvarez-Castro. “The introduction of Portland’s council districts, the roles of mayor and council, and using ranked-choice voting requires a successful education program to ensure all Portlanders are able to use their ballot to express their right to vote.”

While voter education is new to the City’s responsibilities, it is not a new practice.  The City is using a national ranked-choice voting education model that includes a variety of best practices from other state and county elections, and the program is informed by the City of Portland’s Election Office and Multnomah County Elections Division.

Portland’s impartial and non-partisan voter education means the outreach will have a singular focus: how to use ranked-choice voting to elect a Portland mayor, citywide auditor and councilors in your district.

Grant categories include direct non-partisan voter education, community education, and communications

The United Way is administering this grant process, and a total of $210,000 is available in grant funds. Up to 14 grants will be awarded, and will be determined by these categories: 

  • Three Direct Voter Contact Grants 
  • Six Community Education Grants  
  • Five Communications Grants  

The application, review process, and grant terms for small and large implementation grants is identical.

Organizations can apply for one or multiple grant categories. Projects must fall within one or more of the following categories direct voter education, community education and/or communications, and all projects must include mock election(s) using City-provided tools and resources.  

How to apply: Single and joint applicant proposals are welcome

If organizations are connected to community members from the City’s definition of priority populations and are well positioned to share information with them, they are welcome to apply. Training and materials will be provided to grantees.

To be eligible for consideration, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  1. Applicant organizations must be located within Portland city limits. 
  2. Applicant organizations must NOT appear on the Oregon Department of Justice List of Disqualified Charities.  
  3. Applicant organizations must commit to Use of Funds requirements.
  4. Applicant organizations must complete training with the Portland Votes team about ranked-choice voting and permissible activities for C3 / C4 / PAC organizations.
  5. Applicant organizations must participate in monthly meetings and reporting for the grant period. 

To learn more about program requirements, how to apply, and the evaluation process, please visit www.portland.gov/vote/grants.