There are two distinct sections to a get out the vote campaign: before Election Day and on Election Day itself. Before the election, campaigns are quickly calling but also using other direct voter contact methods to tell known and likely supporters about the upcoming election and that it’s important to show up to the polls to vote for your candidate.
On Election Day, these activities are ongoing but there are a number of other elements in play.
Volunteers outside the polls
This does not apply in all states. Some states have laws that prohibit politicking near polling places, but for the jurisdictions that do not, it can be valuable to have someone outside of the poll to greet people as they come to vote and to help anyone who has questions about the candidate or the voting process.
Volunteers inside the polls
Again, depending upon your state this may not apply, but having someone inside of the poll is useful to keep a watchful eye on the pollworkers who might ave affiliated with another party and to help cross off the names of identified supporters that you have accumulated over the course of the campaign. The volunteer inside the poll can then hand off this list to other volunteers to call through those who have yet to vote and remind them when the polls close and that their support is critical to win the campaign.
Flushers are canvassers who knock on targeted doors on Election Day who are trying to literally coax supporters out of their homes and to get out to the polling place to vote for your candidate. If you have the manpower for a strong flushing operation, this is an effective tactic to increase turnout among your supporters.
Rides to the polls
In addition to all of the other volunteer needs on Election Day, it’s a good idea to have people who are able to give rides to the polls for people who are physically unable to get their on their own. If you have volunteers who are willing to give rides to the polls, be sure to include a questions such as “do you need help getting to your polling place?” to the Election Day phone script since most people do not volunteer their need for assistance to go vote.
In case there are any concerns about election law violations on Election Day, recruit an attorney or two for volunteers and voters to call if there are problems.
While GOTV is volunteer intensive and/or costly, Election Day is doubly so. Even in a modest campaign, you will need dozens of volunteers on Election Day to execute effectively.
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