AARC x VPC: Results of Poll of Eligible, but Unregistered African Americans

The Voter Participation Center (VPC) partnered with the African American Research Collaborative (AARC) to conduct a blended phone and online poll of 1,001 African Americans who are eligible to vote, but not currently registered. The research design included recommendations from a panel of African American scholars studying Black civic engagement, who provided input prior to questionnaire development and shared their reactions to the survey results.

We commissioned this poll to discover new ideas about motivational language to register African Americans through our mail and digital programs, as well as gain insight into their lives and the barriers they may face when registering and voting. Unregistered African Americans are an under-researched demographic, and through sharing our polling results, we hope that others in the civic engagement community will utilize these findings in their work as well. 

This research will inform tests that we perform in our digital and mail programs, which reach tens of millions of Americans in the New American Majority, including African Americans.

Some key takeaways include:

  • Two-thirds of unregistered African Americans have at least some willingness to register.
  • Housing insecurity is common among unregistered African Americans, and presents a logistical challenge to voter registration, and along with inflation is a top issue priority among those surveyed.
  • The survey suggests the strongest messengers to encourage registration are Black college professors who study elections and local Black elected officials.

Attached below is a memo and a presentation with the topline findings from this poll.