Becoming a Volunteer

  • Learn About the Programs

    Chicago Votes has three initiatives: Give A Sh*t, Reimagining Democracy, and Unlock Civics. Each initiative houses several programs with volunteer opportunities. Read about each program to find a program that aligns with your interests and capacity.

  • Get Trained

    Complete the required training (at your own pace, on your own time!!) for the programs you are interested in. Once completed, you will be prompted to join the program's email list.

  • Check Your Email

    You will receive opportunities regularly through email and text if you've been confirmed. Some programs occur on a regular schedule (ex. CCJ Votes), but others take place on an ad hoc basis.

Attend a Workshop!

Chicago Votes 2024 Workshop Series equips community members with tools, tactics, and foundational knowledge, to impact change in the City, and beyond. Workshops are for all, no matter your level of organizing experience.

Reimagining Democracy

Chicago Votes’ oldest initiative Parade to the Polls™ has evolved into something much larger–Reimagining Democracy! The Reimagining Democracy initiative encompasses Parade to the Polls™, our elections and legislative tracking curriculums in CPS, our College Polling Place Campaign, Election Judge Recruitment, GOTV campaigns, and the Voter Guide program. That’s A LOT, but essentially the Reimagining Democracy initiative engages young Chicagoans to disrupt the status quo of politics.

Get Out the Vote Brunch Banking

Every Saturday in February from 12-3pm!

Text and call young voters about the primary election and enjoy complimentary brunch!

Summer Tabling

Chicago Votes meets young people where they're at–and we know during summertime Chi, young people are OUTSIDE! This summer, we will be setting up a cute little tent at festivals and block parties. Engage with community members and connect them to Chicago Votes resources and programming!

Unlock Civics

In the fall of 2017, Chicago Votes was asked to be the official sponsor of election activities in the Cook County Jail (CCJ). What started as a voter registration drive once a month, has expanded to include in-person election coordination, civic education, local administrative advocacy, and statewide legislative advocacy.

Cook County Jail Votes (CCJ Votes)

Chicago Votes has been coordinating voter registration drives in the Cook County Jail since September 2017 registering over 5,000 new voters. Volunteers enter the jail every second Sunday of the month to register community members in pretrial detention. Chicago Votes also works with our partners to support the elections process in the jail. With the passage of Senate Bill 2090, the Cook County Jail became the first jail in the country to become a polling place during the 2020 Illinois Primary Elections.

Court Watching

Judges are elected officials who greatly impact many of our lives–with few voters participating in judicial elections. In partnership with Illinois Alliance for Reentry and Justice, we are placing community members in Cook County Criminal Court to observe judges and identify patterns of misconduct.

Give A Sh*t

The Give A Sh*t program works to inspire young people in Chicago to vote and become powerful agents of transformational change by developing a unified narrative and distributing that narrative in a way that is engaging, fun and authentic.

Give A Sh*t Creative Collective

Chicago Votes has integrated a creative network, the Give A Sh*t Collective, to operate as a hub for creatives to rethink how we engage young Chicagoans in the political process. The Collective is made up of a diverse set of young creatives in Chicago, including fashion designers, musicians, artists, poets, videographers, and more. Membership gives you access to exclusive paid opportunities.

C Space

Each month, we open up our office to artists to share space and craft alongside and in community with one another. We call it C Space. Light refreshments are provided! The next C Spaces are Friday, July 21st, Friday, August 18th, and Friday, September 15th from 7-9pm. RSVP for office location!

Sh*t Talkin' Central

Sh*t Talkin’ Central is an online hub for blog posts, video content, trainings, and more. Chicago Votes is specifically looking for Chicago-based stories to publish on Sh*t Talkin' Central. We want to pay young Chicagoans to talk about Chicago issues, art, people, and movements. Fill out this form with your story/article/blog post/poem and we'll let you know if we will add it to Sh*t Talkin' Central. Selected writers will be paid $100.

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Sign up to receive Chicago Votes' newsletter, the Chicago Votes Monthly. Each month, we will send you updates about our work and ways you can get involved.