ICO Congregations and Voting
Beginning in 2004, ICO joined with other PICO California Project affiliates to test strategies for increasing voter turnout among infrequent voters in our communities. The work is funded through a grant from the James Irvine Foundation and involves collaboration with universities and academics who study voting patterns and are using the data ICO and its PICO partners have collected to identify effective and ineffective voter turnout strategies.
ICO member congregations St. Lucy's Catholic, St. Athanasius Catholic, Holy Innocents Catholic; Second Samoan UCC and Mt. Carmel Cambodian Center have engaged in a variety of get-out-the-vote (GOTV) activities, including: door hangers; postcards; phone calls; "easy voter guides" and distribution of a issue summary pamphlet from an ICO-sponsored candidates forum. In each case, the distribution strategy comprised both a target group and a control group, one that received the information and one that did not, in order to assess scientifically the effectiveness of each approach.
In 2008, ICO tested a phone tree strategy at St. Lucy's Catholic that sought to assess the effectiveness of personal relationships and faith relationships in stimulating increased voter turnout.
ICO GOTV efforts have seen voter turnout increase from 1 to 9 percent in targeted precincts, significant results that demonstrate ICO is seen as a credible independent source of voter information.