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GOTV Calls Vital To Stimulate Voters

By Winning Campaigns Staff Writer

Every campaign, no matter how small, should have a plan in place to make get out the vote (GOTV) calls in the days leading up to Election Day. The key to effective GOTV calls, and get out the vote activities in general, is identifying who is likely to support you and motivating them to go to the polls.

The first step in building any get out the vote list is gathering the names and phone numbers of all of the candidate’s friends and family who are registered to vote in the district in which the campaign is being run. Add to that list all of the volunteers and donors to the campaign who live in the district and are registered to vote. Ask your volunteers to list any friends or family who they know support the candidate and are registered to vote in the district. You must also include members of your party who would support your candidate.

Your GOTV call operation should begin as early as it takes to complete a call to every person on your list, but not so early that the people you call will forget that you called. Remember – the goal is to get the people on that list to go to the polls. For that reason, the closer to Election Day that you make your calls the better.

A good rule of thumb is to try to start making calls no earlier than the Wednesday before the election (Thursday is better) and to wrap up your calls on Monday night, the day before the polls open. Remember not to call too early or too late. Early-late evening works best.

If you’ve built a large call list, use a professional call center or consider finding some volunteers to help you make your calls. Be sure to train them properly – provide them with a script for making the calls, goals for when they need to be complete, etc. Preferably, your volunteers will be able to work out of your campaign headquarters so that you can closely supervise their activities.

Your GOTV phone calls can be short and to the point. We simply need to remind the person we are calling of the candidate’s name and remind them to vote for the candidate on Election Day. Here’s simple script your volunteers can use:

“Hi, this is Jim calling on behalf of the ‘my candidate’ for Congress Campaign. Election Day is this Tuesday, and the polls are open from 7am until 7pm. Please remember to vote for ‘my candidate’ for Congress this Tuesday.”

Short and simple – Say the candidate’s name and the office he or she is running for at least twice, tell them when the election is, and move on to the next call.
Jim Burrows
Winning Campaigns Staff Writer
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