Introduction: High levels of civic engagement by United States citizens sustains the integrity of the democratic system. Health organizations, such as The Maternal Addiction Treatment Education and Research (MATER) program, are in a position to help marginalized voting-eligible individuals overcome barriers to voting.
Methods: The target population was women utilizing MATER services. The study design consisted of a survey collecting data including demographic information, political engagement, perceived barriers, and interest in future advocacy. Following the survey, participants were offered more voting resources.
Results: One hundred percent of participants reported utilizing public assistance. Forty-eight percent reported a social network as their source of voting information and 28% reported social media. Seventy-seven percent reported no interest in future advocacy, 13% reported interest, and 10% were unsure. Forty-one percent of participants reported not being registered as their reason for not voting (the most common reason) and 29% reported not being interested in the election (second most common). Not knowing where to go was the most prevalent barrier to voting, with 36% of participants reporting this as the case.
Conclusion: It is crucial for women at MATER to be civically engaged. Information was obtained regarding their degree of civic engagement and their barriers to engagement and voting.
These results are instrumental in increasing civic engagement among the target population and related populations, as well as potentially promoting better health outcomes, more effective healthcare and drug treatment services, improved relations with political entities, sociopolitical empowerment, and more effective democracy.
Recommended CitationLu, Cathy and Gannon, PhD, MSPH, Meghan, "Exploring Political Awareness and Civic Engagement Among Women Utilizing MATER Services" (2021). Phase 1. Paper 7.