BBC News Arabic visits NNAAC to talk voter engagement

BBC Arabic flew in from Washington, D.C., to capture footage of the National Network of Arab American Communities' (NNAAC) phone bank in Dearborn to encourage voters to head to the polls next month.

The "Get Out To Vote" phone bank, held Tuesday, Oct. 28, is part of NNAAC's continuing mission to engage voters.

About 25 high school student volunteers called registered voters, mostly residents of Dearborn, and helped with information like polling locations and times in addition to reminding them to vote on election day Tuesday, Nov. 4.

BBC Arabic interviewed volunteers and Rachid Elabed, ‎Advocacy and Civic Engagement specialist, and Nadia Tonova, director of NNAAC.

“We did more than 1,000 calls,” Elabed said.


Even if one person decides to vote who wasn’t going to before means they were successful, he said.

The phone bank is part of the mission of NNAAC, a project of ACCESS, to get more voters out to actually vote in their local and national elections. In the seven precincts with the highest concentration of contacted voters, there was an average turnout rate of 26 percent during the 2010 election, according to ACCESS' analysis. That rate jumped to 48 percent if they received a call from ACCESS. 


The organization is expecting to hold another phone bank closer to the election. NNAAC has also recruited and trained 40 bilingual poll workers to assist with the upcoming elections.

Check back with NNAAC for a link to the BBC interview once it's posted.

Visit NNAAC online at and follow for updates on Facebook at and Twitter at or @NNAAC.



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