Preparing For Election Day - A Mobilizing Guide For DU Activists
I created this guide so we here at DU can get the maximum possible turnout we can! If we can push for a near-record turnout, we win!
I compiled this list from several sources.
Updated every day until Election Day.
Get Out the Vote
In recent decades, about 60% of the eligible voting population votes during presidential elections and about 40% during midterm elections.
What can we do to get out the vote?
1. Volunteer at a Phone Bank Phone banks can be a lot of fun. Theyre usually set up in offices that have been filled with telephones and access to a computer so you can easily make a call and also record the results of the call. Sometimes you get through to the voter and have a good conversation. Sometimes people remain undecided. Either way, youve made voter contact that can help boost turnout. Plus, phone banks usually have great snacks! Volunteers are needed to participate in a mix of different types of phone-banking, such as: calling voters who have indicated they are, or may be, in need of voter ID assistance; calling voters likely to have voting questions calling organizations that may be interested in using VoteRiders tools and services. Sign Up Here.
2. Phone Bank from Your Own Home If you cant get to an actual phone bank, campaigns may set up a digital system you can log into from your home computer. On the weekends, calls might be made between 10 a.m. and 6 or 7 p.m. During the week, calls are often made in the afternoon up until 9 p.m. You can sign up for as much or as little time as you have available.
3. Canvas Door-to-Door Of the many ways you can help persuade undecided voters, knocking on their doors is evidently the most effective. It is the number one most powerful way to convince undecided voters to support our candidate.
4. Write Postcards. Volunteer to personally reach out to voters by writing and mailing postcards with All In Together or get trained to participate in a phone tree. Just an hour or more a week can make a difference! Sign Up Here.
Hand written postcards improve voter turnout thread on DU:
5. Write Letters. VoteRiders letter-writing program is currently targeted towards voters in Florida, Georgia and Wisconsin who are likely to have voter ID and voting-related questions. Volunteers are provided scripts, voter lists and a VoteRiders letterhead template. Current plans also include a fun and productive Zoom letter-writing party co-hosted by the Hamilton cast & crew, along with numerous independent letter-writing parties. Sign Up Here.
6. Do Peer to Peer Texting. HeadCount is running a robust nonpartisan peer-to-peer texting program that will help voters register and make a plan to vote. The texting takes place during 2-hour evening sessions. Volunteers can sign up for existing sessions or, if there is interest within a company, HeadCount can set up a specially scheduled session for the team. Sign Up Here.
7. Host a House Party If youre in a community where you know there are a lot of undecided voters, host a house party. Invite your neighbors in to discuss what they care about, and make sure you know where your candidate stands on the most important issues at stake. Some local candidates may drop by your house party to meet voters and answer questions!
8. Attend a Candidate Debate Though its difficult to score tickets for a presidential debate, its much easier to get into a debate among candidates running for state and Congressional office, like governor or U.S. Senator. Attending a debate gives you a lot of credibility when you do other kinds of voter contact. You can say, I was at the debate, and I was struck by Candidate Xs approach to solving this problem you care so much about. Plus, its so cool to be in the room.
9. Help Register People to Vote No matter how much money candidates spend on ads, only one thing really matters on Election Day, and thats how many people vote. Clearly, the more people who are registered to vote, the better. RocktheVote lists voter registration deadlines in every state. Guac the Vote is a new initiative by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to register voters at taco trucks! Also, contact your local League of Women Voters and check out Clean Air Moms Action to find out how you can help.
10. Drive Voters To a Dropbox Or a Polling Location Many elderly and ailing people would happily vote if they could only get to the polls. Some counties only have one dropbox, and/or a polling location may be a bit further this year. If you are healthy and able, offer to drive a family member, friend, or neighbor to vote. Remember, many states offer early voting, so you may not have to wait until November 8 to do this good deed!
11. Hand Out Literature at the Polls Youd be surprised how many people show up to vote on Election Day and still dont know who theyll vote for. When they stop to chat, you can help secure their vote by asking if they knew a surprising fact about the candidate, answer whatever questions they still have, and hand out your candidates literature.
12. Wear a Button This is maybe the easiest way to promote a candidate. Yet its also very effective. Its non-confrontational but a very obvious way to show your support for the person youre trying to elect.
13. Post Lawn Signs This is on par with wearing a button, but this might reach even more people if your sign goes up on a busy corner where people can see it coming from all directions. Be aware of local ordinances that may restrict sign placement.
14. Slap on a Bumper Sticker A bumper sticker is your cars equivalent of a button, though because you reach so many more people when you drive, the impact might actually be much greater. This article makes a pretty persuasive case for bumper stickers.
15. Use Your Social Media Clout Facebook and Twitter are great ways to share opinions, both about candidates positions and about the importance of voting. You can share pictures of yourself campaigning on Instagram and Pinterest, and encourage your friends to do the same. Keep friends informed with social media: early voting locations/hours, election day voting locations/hours, and ballot dropoff locations vary from state to state and county to county. Share I am a voter.s IG Story about the important deadlines in your state!
16. Donate Every campaign needs money. You are able to donate during the general election up to the $2500.00 maximum. Even if you cant bring yourself to write a check, chip in a few bucks to pay for the gas someone may need to drive to a neighborhood to canvas or vote.
17. Offer Babysitting To Volunteers and Voters Offer to babysit. If you have a teenager who is not old enough to vote but can watch younger children, ask them if theyd be willing to volunteer to babysit so parents can go out and vote. Want to canvas or phone bank but dont know what to do with the kids? Find a friend in the same boat and share childcare duties. Single parents or working parents may not be able to leave their children alone to go to the polls.
18. Offer Dog-walking Service to Volunteers and Voters If your friend or neighbor is volunteering as a poll worker, they might be working long hours from opening to closing. Consider dog walking for poll workers, and also for a voter on Election Day waiting in a long line!
19. Remind Your Neighbor
Remind your friends, neighbors, family members, social groups, social media lists, and congregations to vote on November 8. Let them know that voting is one of the best ways to make their voices heard. If the political system is not what theyd like it to be, they can change it through voting. Remind them that Election Day involves voting far more than just the top of the ticket important local issues are also at stake. A group of you and your friends can get together and organize a night of phone banking before the election to call all the people on your contact list and remind them to vote.
20. Bring supplies to the long lines Long lines are to be expected on Election Day this year. Bring water bottles or individually packaged snacks to your local polling location and serve voters waiting in line! Have a skill? Consider sharing it at the polls dance, play guitar, do yoyo tricks. Consider bringing masks and hand sanitizers to encourage everyones health and safety. Pizza to the Polls We also encourage people to report long voting lines through Pizza to the Polls, a partner organization who provides food and refreshments on demand to long voting lines. People can report a line here.
21. Vote the Earlier, the Better! Obviously, the single most important thing you can do to support your candidate is to vote. If, for some reason you cant vote in person the day of the election, apply for an absentee ballot so you can still make your preference count. Get an absentee ballot HERE. If you want to avoid election-day crowds or intend to spend the day getting out the vote, vote a week or two in advance. Vote.org lists early voting options state by state HERE.
Know Your Laws
With the rise of restrictive voting legislation, people may not vote because they arent sure what identification they will need at the polls, or they feel it will be too much of a hassle. Find out the requirements in your state for registering, voting, early voting and more via the Election Protection web site.
Teach Your Children
The largest block of eligible voters who dont turn out at the polls are young people. Start talking to your children (and nieces, nephews, friends children, and grandchildren) about voting. Explain to them why you believe its important to vote, and get their ideas on why some people may not vote. Let your children know that their political opinions and their vote matters so future generations will turn out at the polls.
Election Protection provides Americans from coast to coast with comprehensive voting information on how they can make sure their vote is counted. If you have any questions about voting, or encounter difficulty when attempting to cast your ballot, call the Voter Helplines:
866-OUR-VOTE (administered by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law)
888-Ve-Y-Vota (administered by the NALEO Educational Fund),
888-API-VOTE (administered by APIAVote & Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC)
Help neighbors get the vote out
In partnership with Vote.org, Nextdoor is launching the Voter Help Map to help neighbors print voting materials in states where needed and boost voter registration. The Voter Help Map calls on Nextdoor members who own a home printer to add themselves to the map with an offer to print voting materials for others.
Take time off from work
Talk to your employer early if you need to ask for time off or schedule flexibility to vote early or on election day. Many employers as part of the Civic Alliances 100% In For Democracy campaign have committed time off for their employees to vote.
There are still several states that require absentee ballot voters to have a witness participate. Often a witness may be asked to give their name or signature on a voters ballot. Offer to be a witness so that your neighbor can successfully submit their ballot according to your state laws.
Mobilize.us: Events, Petitions, and Volunteer Opportunities:
The vote is precious. It is the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democratic society, and we must use it. John Lewis, late civil rights activist
Quote by Mousetoescamper:
Volunteer for a phone bank, neighborhood canvassing, donate to our candidates, vote and encourage others to vote for Democrats.
Did phone banking today. Felt so much better (less anxious) because I took action.
R&B is nice.
This is awesome.
Another one that should be pinned.
I'll recommend it in my posts, even photos!