6 Ways You Can Help Get Out the Vote
We are less than 40 days away from the election of our lifetimes. Can you believe that? Since our inception, we have worked to this very moment – to end gerrymandering and defeat Trump by getting progressive leaders elected at the state level.
Not only is this the election of our lifetimes, but it also looks very different from any other election season. COVID-19 has changed how our candidates reach out to voters, how our volunteers work together, and how we fundraise for candidates.
Even so, our volunteers have persevered. In the midst of a global pandemic we reached the milestone of $1 million in donations to our 2020 candidates in just six months.
The difference between GOTV and persuasion
Getting out the vote, or “GOTV,” is something that we constantly mention throughout the election cycle. Although the term is often used loosely, to a campaign it means literally reminding your universe of committed voters to the polls.
For months, we’ve been trying to persuade and mobilize voters, but during GOTV it’s time to make sure that they get to the polls and vote (or return their mail-in ballots!). During this process, a campaign aims to make several passes through their entire voter target universe.
With less than 40 days left and many states starting to cast their ballots, we have come up with a list of things you can do to make these last 50 days count. Here are six things that you can do to help lead our campaigns to victory during the election.
Six Things, Right Now
COVID-19 has changed how we organize, but it has not slowed down our postcarding efforts! Postcarding a really good tactic to reach voters who don’t answer their phones, have incorrect numbers in the voter file, and to get to voters who live in inaccessible places/houses like big apartment buildings or remote locations. The messaging for postcards generally compliments the communication plan of the campaign and is an additional avenue to make an impactful, personal touch on a voter.
How to do it: Gather your friends over Zoom, find a design you like, and take an hour out of your day to write postcards to a voter. We will provide the addresses and messaging (contact your Field Manager to get started!), and you will also be funding the USPS. That’s a win in our books!
5. The Power of Social Media
What if your budget doesn’t allow for donations? I have a solution for that too. Share our work!
On August 19th, we shared an Instagram post on the inequalities present in the suffragette movement. This post went viral, and it even jumpstarted new activism! Because of our post @mrschavezreads has started a #womenvotebookstack, where she shares books written by women authors and encourages her followers to donate to our candidates.
Another Instagram user, @anner_parker created social graphics about our work and encouraged her friends to get involved. After her post, we saw an uptick in followers and volunteer sign-ups. This is the power of social media – you can inspire the people around you to take action and get involved.
Your friends and followers trust you. When you tell your friends how easy it is to get involved with us and how great it makes you feel, they are going to be excited to join in too! In fact, we have proved this with science – the relationships that our volunteers build with each other is what keeps them coming back over the long term.
Never underestimate the power of social media for good and check out social share to get your friends involved!
4. Offer Your Services or Attend a Sister District Event
Our “new normal” has encouraged our teams to get creative when it comes to fundraising events. In the month of September we had yoga classes, a calligraphy class, wine tastings, cocktail classes, and so much more! Our ability to get creative in this difficult time has allowed us to reach big fundraising milestones.
What special talents do you have that you can offer? Whether it is talent, class, or entertainment, our teams would love for you to host an event for us that will share our work and bring us, new volunteers and donors.
3. Donate, donate, donate!
Money often has an outsized influence on who will win a race. The end of the electoral cycle is when each campaign will make their final push – which often makes it the most expensive period. As we get closer to Election Day, our campaigns need all hands on deck to reach the finish line.
2020 has not only changed how we reach voters, it has also changed our spending habits. If you have not been financially impacted by COVID-19, you might find that you have an extra few dollars that would usually go to a movie night or eating out. Why not donate that money to our GOTV programs instead?
Another tactic that works well is challenging your friends to donate. For example, post a picture of your donation on social media, and tag your friends with an ask to match your donation. If 10 of your friends match your donation, and share the challenge on their page, you will have reached many new donors who can help our candidates reach the finish line.
Phonebanking is one of the most effective voter contact strategies. Now that we are limited in our ability to knock on doors, we are heavily relying on phonebanking to share our candidates’ stories and help voters return ballots by mail correctly or find their polling locations.
Phonebanking during GOTV is about reactivating voters the campaign has already touched, and in many cases letting the voter know where their polling location is, or in many cases how to vote by mail this year.
GOTV is one of the best times to phonebank, and it is an effective way of getting folks to vote early (if possible!), or on Election Day itself.
Sign up to join one of our phonebanks now – beginners are welcome! Each one starts with training for new callers.
1. Get Your Friends and Family Involved
Convincing friends to take action really amplifies your volunteer impact. GOTV is the most exciting time for new volunteers to help out, and voter outreach is always more fun with friends.
And anyway, we are all missing social interactions! You can save our democracy and get in social time by getting your friends and family to get involved.
None of us want to wake up on November 4 and feel like we could have done more. We all have a part to play in ensuring we win up and down the ballot this year. Where do you fit in?
Whether you want to be on every phone bank, or a person who donates regularly, know that your work matters and that we can’t do it without you!