Getting Started: So I’ve Got My Plus3 Voter Contact Information, Now What?
Now that you’ve gotten your voter contact information,
here are some ideas on how to start.
(Download this document here: http://bit.ly/P3GetStarted)
GET STARTED: One key is to start right away. You may have multiple contacts with each of the voters over time and some voters will not be as easy to reach as others, so just getting the ball rolling is important. Otherwise, time can go by quickly and you’ll be rushing as Election Day approaches.
FIND YOUR TRIBE: Consider whether you want to get started on your own or begin as part of a group. Either is fine. If you prefer a group, check your Plus3 Facebook District page or contact your leader via email to see if there are any gatherings planned. http://bit.ly/Plus3FacebookGroupsWeb
CHECK OUT THE FAQS PAGE HERE: Visit this Plus3 webpage for the FAQS: http://www.thunderdomepolitics.com/plus-3-initiative/faqs/
KNOW THESE IMPORTANT DEADLINES AND LINKS:
There are critical deadlines for registering, updating registrations, absentee ballot requests and requirements, and also you will find links for voters to find their polling place, registrar and more. You can see them and download them here: http://www.thunderdomepolitics.com/plus-3-initiative/important-links/
SAMPLE SCRIPTS AND POSTCARDS: http://www.thunderdomepolitics.com/plus-3-initiative/samples/
LEARN ABOUT YOUR CANDIDATE: Learn a little about the background and the message of your House of Delegates candidate. No one is expecting you to be an expert and– if any question comes up about the candidate– we are encouraging you generally to say that you don’t know, but that you’ll find out get back to the voter, and then follow-through on that. But knowing some basics is helpful. Please also make sure you are aware of the state-wide candidates as well (Gov., Lt. Gov., & Atty. General). You can check here for more information on your candidate or google their website: http://www.thunderdomepolitics.com/virginia-legislature/house/
BEFORE YOU CALL: Before you contact the voter directly, think about how you are going to describe your role to the voter and why it may be different than others who may call, mail or text. We suggest thinking of your role as two-fold: awareness and assistance. The awareness piece is fleshing out the details to the voter about how the Republicans have unfairly entrenched themselves in power through a combination of gerrymandering & voter suppression and about the scary possibility of a Republican-led Constitutional Convention. It should be emphasized that the path to dislodging the Republicans in both Richmond and Washington DC is by voting in state-level elections. Then, the opportunity to contact the same voter multiple times allows you to differentiate yourself in the following important way: you can help. You can answer the question the voter has on a candidate position; you can point the voter where to go to get an absentee ballot; you can brainstorm on how to get childcare in place for the day of the election so the voter can get to the polls, and so forth. You can take the time to do all this because you’re working with a small list of voters and have multiple weeks to get all this done.
1. The volunteer should first make sure that the voter knows that an election is coming up on 11/7/17. It would also be helpful to let the voter know which offices are up for election: Governor, Lt. Governor, Atty. General & all 100 seats in the House of Delegates.
2. The volunteer should try his or her best to convey how important this election is. We need to keep in mind these are voters who vote only occasionally. So, what’s different now? What’s going to motivate these lean & strong Democrats to vote this time? Ultimately, we think it’s the Trump-led Republican agenda that is different. So, we must shine a light on the connection between this election and that Republican agenda. The connection is the two-fold: unfair gerrymandering districts and passing law after law designed to deter and restrict Democrats and progressives from voting, both of which originate in the House of Delegates in Virginia. The volunteer should educate the voter about how these practices and laws result in Republican over-representation in the US House which in turn enable the president’s agenda. If the volunteer wants to motivate the voter even further, he or she can convey how Republicans have taken over so many state legislatures nationally (including Virginia’s) that they only need to control one more to call a Constitutional Convention to attempt to make radical changes to our democracy. [We now have three new mini-videos of 20-40 seconds in length that the volunteer can use to help convey these concepts to the voter].
3. Regardless of whether or not the voter seems motivated by the above, if the voter raises a question about a candidate’s position on a local issue (such as school funding or the placement of nearby power lines, etc.), we are encouraging the volunteer, unless he/she happens to know the answer, to say simply, “I don’t know, but I am going to find out and get back to you.” Then, we would hope the volunteer will speak with the lead-volunteer for the district to find out the answer. Very important: following through on this with the voter is critical as it will foster a real connection. [If need be an inquiry with the candidate will be made].
4. The volunteer, lastly, should ask the voter whether there is any way he/she can fill out the absentee ballot. If yes, the volunteer can offer assistance on how the voter can go about doing this. If no, the volunteer can help the voter generally make a plan for voting, including finding solutions for any obstacles there may be to getting to the polls on election day (is childcare in place? is transportation arranged? does the voter know where to go to vote? etc.). This may involve some back-and-forth. We want to suggest that the volunteer consider how to stay in touch with the voter until the absentee ballot is cast or until the voter votes on election day, whichever applies.
Then, begin! Remember, we want to be polite. These are mostly like-minded folks, but they may not vote regularly for a reason. Most likely, they are just too busy and/or do not feel that their vote “counts”. We need to get the message across that his or her vote counts more than ever as we need every vote we can get if we want to break the vise-grip the Republicans have on power.
Regardless of how strongly that you (and we!) feel about the importance of the upcoming election, we need to keep in mind that– in addition to the work and family responsibilities voters have– we also will be competing for “shelf-space” with all the other messages voters are being bombarded with, political and otherwise. So, try not to get discouraged if you are not able to find success right away. We will likely need to “roll-up our sleeves” with at least some voters in order connect and help arrange a plan for them to actually vote. With varying amounts of effort, though, we can get through to many of our voters and really have an impact! So let’s get the vote out!
Thanks and best of luck!
The Plus3 Team
Short, powerful, Video Tools to share with your Volunteers
You can download the videos below at the links above each. You can share link by clicking on “paper airplane” symbol on the right of each video. Example: