5 Steps to Get out the Vote: Methods to Mobilize your Base
The primaries for the midterm elections are underway and the midterm election is quickly approaching. Many important seats are up for grabs and this election will determine the tone of Biden's second half of his term.
Many things are at stake. For example, if Republicans control the Congress they will be in charge of the committee investigating the January 6th insurrection. Typically the midterm election voter turnout is low, so getting people out to vote is incredibly important! Campaigning can happen before and after an election but during an election it is important to plan your Get out the Vote (GOTV) efforts ahead of time. GOTV is the push to get supporters to the polls to cast their vote. Here are the five things to consider when planning your Get out the Vote Strategy.
1.What is your goal? 🎯
This may seem simple and in some ways it is: The goal is to get people out to the polls to vote. However you can break this down and define how many people you need to get out in order to win. You can find your “win number” aka the number of votes needed in order to win using Call Hub’s guide.
You also need to determine who you want to mobilize. Do you want just anyone coming out to vote or do you want people who will vote for the candidates that support your organization’s values and align themselves with the future you want to see? The question here is: Will your efforts be partisan or nonpartisan? Usually nonpartisan GOTV focuses on educating people on where to vote and mobilizing them to the polls, regardless of who they will be voting for.
Partisan GOTV has all of the previous aspects plus an element of persuading people to vote for a specific person. Partisan GOTV method requires you to think strategically about who is already on your side and who is persuadable and not spending effort on people who are neither.
2.Determine your Scope 🔎
Now that you have a goal and win numbers you need to consider where you need to focus your efforts to get this done. It is important not to spread yourself too thin. The time and resources your organization has should inform the scope of your GOTV effort. The best way to conceptualize scope is by electoral districts. Perhaps you choose one or two races so you can consolidate your resources to the corresponding electoral districts.
You may want to focus your efforts where you already have strong support or where there are swing ridingings. If you are a larger organization you may focus your efforts on one or two swing states. For the senate race it is clear that Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and New Hampshire will determine the balance of the Senate.
3.Find your Voters with Advocacy Campaigns 🖥️
Before you mobilize your voters, you need to find them! There are many ways to find voters online. You could make a landing page and encourage people to pledge to vote.
Another engaging way is running advocacy campaigns. Advocacy campaigns will not only engage supporters in the civic sphere and put them in touch with decision makers but it is a way to identify people who believe in the same initatives. You could run a campaign to tweet at elected officials to make voting more accessible or call decision makers to tell them bike lanes in your city are important.
With advocacy tools you are giving people away to engage in their community while also finding potential voters. Here is a great example where an organization in Canada, UBI Works, ran a letter to the editor campaign setting the tone for the upcoming election and shaping support. SPLC Action Fund this year is running a Letter to the Editor action to ensure candidates in Mississippi are facing tough questions.
- Many progressive campaigners used our platform to campaign on democracy in 2021.
4.Get your voters out to vote! 🗳️
Now that you have found potential voters it is time to connect with them and get them out to vote. There are many ways to get your voter to the polls with the help of digital technology. For example, you can send a supporter an email or run targeted ads with a reminder to vote.
Research shows that the more personal your contact is with a voter is more effective. Calling and texting voters are more personal ways to remind people to vote. CallHub provides sophisticated GOTV calling and texting tools. Using this technology can be a great way to engage volunteers and get them involved in the action and contacting voters. The contacts you gathered through New/Mode’s advocacy tools can be segmented by location and then uploaded to CallHub to be contacted from there.
5.Choose your message and create a script 📜
The script will depend if your GOTV campaign is partisan or nonpartisan. You also might be contacting the same people multiple times and if so, will need to create a script accordingly. As the National Democratic Training Committee instructs, no matter how voters are reached, they must understand:
- When to vote
- How to vote
- If they need identification to vote
- If your campaign is continuing persuasion, why they should support your campaign
It may be good to research the key election issues that are important to people so you can discuss these topics with voters.
Here are tips from CallHub on how to create a GOTV script.
- Check out our campaign spotlight: Vote Save America and the fight for safe and secure elections 🇺🇸
Good luck with your campaigning, thank you for your work keeping democracy alive! We are here to help. If you would like to discuss your GOTV strategy and how New/Mode can play a role, please book a time with our campaign advisor today!