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2009-2010 PRECINCT LEADER TRAINING MANUAL
A MESSAGE FROM CHAIRMAN SEMANKO
Dear Republican Precinct Leader, The American political system has had its challenges, but one thing has remained true over time – the Party that succeeds at the precinct level is the Party that eventually leads the Nation. Let us hope this rule remains forever true, since it is founded in the distinction between political power centered in a few prominent leaders, and political power which truly comes from the people. As he left Independence Hall, Benjamin Franklin was asked, "Well, Doctor, what have we got — a republic or a monarchy?" Franklin's reply was "A republic, if you can keep it." Keeping our Republic, that is, keeping representational government in touch with the people it represents is a responsibility that rests at the very roots of our political system. That root, the beginnings and foundation of self-government, is the precinct. This manual is designed to explain the job of Precinct Committeeman or Committeewoman (referred to as Precinct leaders), so that those holding this critical position can be prepared to meet its responsibilities. Many Presidents (Eisenhower, Ford, and Bush, to name a few) started their political careers as Precinct leaders. Even if you don't aspire to be President, working in a precinct is a civic and patriotic duty essential to a free society. The faithful execution of that duty is a service for which we, as Americans, owe our gratitude and respect.
Norm Semanko Chairman, Idaho Republican Party
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THE ADVICE OF OUR PARTY'S FOUNDER
"Organize the whole state, so that every Whig can be brought to the polls Divide (the) county into small districts, and… appoint in each a subcommittee. Make a perfect list of all the voters and . . . ascertain with certainty for whom they will vote. ... Keep a constant watch on the doubtful voters, and ... have them talked to by those in whom they have the most confidence.
. And on Election Day, see that every Whig is brought to the polls."
published in the Illinois State Register February 21. 1840
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A MESSAGE FROM RNC CHAIRMAN MICHAEL STEELE:
It is truly grassroots community activists like you who are the backbone of the Republican Party. Behind the excellent leadership of Governor Otter and Republican leaders in the Idaho House and Senate, it is through your support and your amazing dedication that the Republican Party will be stronger and more successful than ever both in Idaho and across the country. But I don’t have to tell you how important it is to support the Republican Party. Nor do I have to tell you how important it is for the party to support you, our grassroots leaders – the men and women who make the Republican Party work every day. We may be the minority party in America right now, but I believe we represent a majority of the American people. Voters have now seen what President Obama and Congressional Democrats really have in mind for America – and it’s not the “change” they bargained for. We are at a crucial juncture for our party and more importantly for our country. I know you do great things as Republicans in Idaho, but simply put, your country needs you now more than ever before. Now is the time to rise to the occasion, it’s time to make your voices heard, and it’s time to work together to help elect candidates from local races on up the ticket that promote the conservative principles of lower taxes, small government, and greater personal responsibility. Michael Steele Chairman, Republican National Committee
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THE DIFFERENCE A VOTE MAKES
• In 2008, Former Republican Congressman Bill Sali lost reelection to Democrat Walt Minnick by only 4 votes per precinct. • Republican State Representative Kathie Garrett won her 2004 election in District 17 (Boise) by a little more than half a vote per precinct. • In Idaho's 1982 General Election, Republican Phil Batt lost his race for Governor by 4 votes per precinct to Democrat John Evans. • In 1986, Republican David Leroy lost by only 3 votes per precinct to Democrat Cecil Andrus. • In Idaho's 1980 General Election, Steve Symms was elected to the U.S. Senate by a superb grassroots team. He won with a turnout of only 4 more votes per precinct than Frank Church. • John F. Kennedy was elected nationwide by less than one vote per precinct.
Identifying and turning out the GOP vote will make a difference in future generations. Every vote counts! Can we count on you?
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S M A Y O D TIES U M R F U
As a Precinct leader, the party is counting on you to do the following:
1. 2. 3.
Represent your precinct on the County Central Committee. Represent your precinct on the Legislative District Committee.
Have a plan for building the Republican Party in your precinct (make a timetable and use it to get things done on schedule).
Recruit and train volunteers. Organize your precinct by blocks or units, using maps and spreadsheets or index card files. Canvass your precinct to get a true political picture. Conduct a voter registration drive. Distribute information on Republican candidates, election procedures and laws. Turn out every possible Republican vote on election day.
6. 7. 8. 9.
All politics is personal. As the Party's most direct link with the voter, you are responsible for establishing a neighbor-to-neighbor relationship with the residents in your precinct. These voters may often seek your counsel as they make elections decisions. A good Precinct leader will try to visit every home in the precinct, or at least will see that every home has been visited by a Republican volunteer. When a visit occurs, be sure a calling card of some kind is left behind. The suggestions in this handbook have proven helpful over the years for Precinct leaders, but they are suggestions, not rules cast in stone. There is no single formula for success. Good judgment and personal knowledge of your individual precinct will be your guide in deciding which suggestions work for you. Your goal is to inform voters, identify favorable voters and get them to the polls. How you attain this goal is best determined by your own experience and creativity, coupled with the guidelines contained in this handbook
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THE ROLE OF THE STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEE
The State Central Committee is the governing body of the Idaho Republican Party. Central Committee members include: the State Party Chairman, the State Executive Committee, County Chairmen, State Committeemen and women, State Youth Committeepersons, and Legislative District Chairmen Duties of the State Central Committee staff: • Prepare and execute an election “Victory Plan” to elect all Republican candidates at all levels of the state. • Raise funds to maintain the operations of the Idaho Republican Party Headquarters • Prepare training opportunities for Republican elected officials, Republican candidates for public office, precinct, county and legislative district officers. • Maintain data on Republican voters statewide. • Organize state conventions and state central committee meetings. • Handle media inquires and messaging for Idaho Republicans • Support counties in their fundraising and election efforts. The Idaho Republican Party should truly be considered your partner in the process of electing your local, statewide and federal candidates. They have access to many tools through technology and financial resources that can help your local organization work more efficiently. For example in the 2008 election cycle the state party organized the state republican convention, helped many individual candidates with tough races both financially and with in-kind contributions, provided targeted mailing lists to candidates, conducted statewide get out the vote phone calls, mailed absentee ballot requests to known Republicans, and helped with voter ID projects. The state party also organizes the Governor’s Ball and the Lincoln Day schedule on behalf of the counties. Always remember campaigning begins at the precinct level. The State Party organization can give you solid direction, help with training, and assist
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with fundraising events.
IDAHO REPUBLICAN PARTY CONTACT INFO
Idaho Republican Party Headquarters Address - 802 W. Bannock, LP 103, Boise, ID 83701 Mailing Address – P.O. Box 2267, Boise, ID 83701 Phone - 208-343-6405 Fax – 208-343-6414 Website – www.idgop.org State Chairman Norm Semanko Email: email@example.com Executive Director Jonathan Parker Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Finance Director Anabel Manchester Email: email@example.com
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THE COUNTY COMMITTEE
A. County Organization
IDAHO REPUBLICAN PARTY RULES ARTICLE IV, Section 1(a) The County Central Committee is composed of the Precinct Committeemen and Precinct Committeewomen elected at the State Primary Election, the County Chairman, Vice Chairman. State Committeeman, State Committeewoman, State Youth Committeeperson, and such other officers of the County Central Committee as are elected by the Precinct Committeemen and Precinct Committeewomen. All officers of the Central Committee shall be elected by the Precinct Committeemen and Precinct Committeewomen at a meeting called by the incumbent County Chairman to be held within ten (10) days after the Primary Election at the county seat.
As the only Party officials elected by popular vote, Precinct leaders are the founding members of the County Central Committee. It is they who elect the Central Committee's leadership, including the county's representatives on the State Central Committee, consisting of:
1. 2. 3.
County Chairman State Committeeman State Committeewoman
IDAHO REPUBLICAN PARTY ARTICLE IV Section 3(a)
The County Central Committee shall fill by election all vacancies that occur or exist in the office of Precinct Committeemen. Candidates shall be a qualified elector of the precinct.
4. 4. 4. 4. Youth Committee Chair
Precinct leaders also "appoint by election" individuals to fill any vacant precinct positions within the county. The County Bylaws may allow other Central Committee members a vote on filling vacancies as well.
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Besides electing officers and filling vacancies, Precinct leaders play a major role in other County Central Committee functions, including:
IDAHO REPUBLICAN PARTY RULES ARTICLE IV. Section 4.
Representation and voting by proxies shall be allowed at County Central Committee meetings 1. Election of Convention Delegates; except for the election of Central Committee 2. Resolutions and Endorsements; Officers, election of delegates to the State 3. Enacting and amending County Bylaws and Convention, and nomination of nominees to fill county office vacancies. Proxies shall be honored Political Plans. if in writing to another voting member and limited to that particular meeting. Fifty-one percent (51`)/0) of the Precinct Committeemen and Precinct Unless local bylaws allow, most business cannot be Committeewomen from within the county shall done if over half the Precinct leaders are absent. constitute a quorum, unless county by-laws IDAHO REPUBLICAN PARTY RULES FILLING designate a different quorum percentage. A. Filling Vacancies in VACANCIES ON THE BOARD OF COUNTY
County Commissioner and Other County Positions One of the most serious responsibilities of the Precinct leader occurs when a vacancy happens in an elected office within the County. If the office had been held by a Republican, it is up to the Precinct leaders under the County Chairman's lead, to elect a slate of three qualified Republicans to fill the vacant position. If the vacancy is a County Commissioner, the slate is provided to the Governor for appointment. If the vacancy occurs in another County position, the slate is provided to the County Commissioners.
COMMISSIONERS ARTICLE V, Sections 1 and 2 Section 1: In the event a vacancy arises on a board of County Commissioners, by reason of resignation, death or otherwise, it shall be the duty of the Chairman of the County Central Committee wherein the vacancy exists to call a meeting of the County Central Committee within ten (10) days after giving forty-eight (48) hours notice, stating the purpose of the meeting, which is recommending to the Governor three (3) nominees to fill said vacancy. Section 2: At the meeting of the County Central Committee for the purpose of recommending to the Governor three (3) nominees to fill a vacancy on a board of county commissioners, only County Chairman, Precinct Committeemen, and Precinct Committeewomen shall be entitled to nominate candidates and vote. All nominees must reside within the county district where the vacancy exists. A Precinct Committeeman or Precinct Committeewoman may vote for three (3) candidates in preferential order.
IDAHO REPUBLICAN PARTY RULES FILLING VACANCIES WITHIN OTHER COUNTY POSITIONS ARTICLE VI, Sections 1 - 4 Section 1: If the office of county prosecuting attorney, treasurer, sheriff, coroner, assessor, or auditor/clerk of the district court becomes vacant, by reason of resignation, death or otherwise, the Chairman of the County Central Committee wherein the vacancy exists shall call a meeting of the County Central Committee within ten (10) days after giving forty-eight (48) hours' notice, stating the purpose of the meeting, which is recommending to the Board of County Commissioners three (3) nominees to fill said vacancy. Section 2: At the meeting of the County Central Committee for the purpose of recommending to the Board of County Commissioners three (3) nominees to fill such vacancy, only the
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County Chairman, Precinct Committeemen and Precinct Committeewomen shall be entitled to nominate candidates and vote. All nominees must reside within the county. All Precinct Committeepersons may vote for three (3) candidates in preferential order. Section 3: The County Chairman shall submit the names of the three (3) nominees to the Board of County Commissioners within two (2) days of their selection. Said nominees shall be listed in order of the number of votes received. Section 4: The Board of County Commissioners shall fill the vacancy by appointment from the list of three (3) nominees within (15) days. If no appointment is made within fifteen (15) days, the County Central Committee shall designate one (1) of the three (3) nominees to fill the vacancy.
THE LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT COMMITTEE
A. Legislative District Organization The boundaries of legislative districts in Idaho can be contained within a single county, or can encompass multiple counties. In either case, it is the Precinct leaders of the District that organize and elect the Republican Party leadership for that District. Precinct leaders should be a grassroots support team, a "cheering section" for their local
IDAHO REPUBLICAN PARTY RULES THE LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT COMMITTEE ARTICLE VII, Section 1 The Legislative District Committee is composed of Precinct Committeemen and Precinct Committeewomen elected at the State Primary Election, the Legislative District Chairman, Vice Chairmen, Secretary, and other such officers of the Legislative District as are elected by the Precinct Committeemen and Precinct Committeewomen. The Precinct Committeemen and Precinct Committeewomen shall elect all officers of the Legislative District at a meeting called by the incumbent Legislative District Chairman to be held upon seven (7) days' notice and within eleven (11) days after each Primary Election at a location within the Legislative district.
Republican legislators. These legislators should, in turn,
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consult with their Precinct leaders on the needs of the District.
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Filling Vacancies in the State Legislature
Upon the death, resignation or disqualification of any Republican member of the Idaho Senate or House of Representatives, it is the duty of the Precinct leaders within that legislator's home district to nominate a slate of three individuals to fill the vacant seat. The Governor must appoint someone from that list of names. In selecting those to recommend to the Governor, Precinct leaders should consider (1) a candidate's service to and history of support for the Republican Party and its platform. and (2) a candidate's popular support and ability to be reelected in a General Election within the district. IDAHO REPUBLICAN PARTY FILLING LEGISLATIVE VACANCIES ARTICLE VIII, Section 1-4 Section 1: In the event a vacancy arises in the Idaho State Legislature, by reason of resignation, death or otherwise, the Chairman of the Legislative District in which such vacancy exists shall call a meeting of the Legislative District Committee within ten (10) days and after giving forty-eight (48) hours notice, stating the purpose for the meeting which is recommending to the Governor three (3) nominees to fill said vacancy. Section 2: At the meeting of the Legislative District Committee for the purpose of recommending to the Governor three (3) nominees to fill a vacancy in the Legislature, only Precinct Committeemen and Precinct Committeewomen shall be entitled to nominate candidates and vote. All nominees must reside within the Legislative District. A Precinct Committeeman or Precinct Committeewoman may vote for three (3) candidates in numerical order of preference. Section 3: The Legislative District Chairman shall submit the names of the three (3) nominees to the Governor within two (2) days of their selection. Said nominees shall be listed in numerical order of preference. Section 4: The Governor shall fill the vacancy by appointment from the list of three (3) nominees within fifteen (15) days. If no appointment has been made within fifteen (15) days, the Legislative District Committee shall designate one (1) of the three nominees to fill the vacancy.
How to Contact Your State Legislator:
Mail: The Honorable______________________________ Idaho State Legislature P.O. Box 83720 Boise, Idaho 83720 -0038 (House) or, -0081 (Senate) Phone: (208) 332-1000 or toll-free (800) 626-0471
THE PRECINCT PLAN
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The Need for a Plan
Each Precinct should have a plan prepared that outlines how to build the Republican Party in both (1) numbers of volunteers, and (2) percentage of the popular vote within the Precinct inclined to support Republican candidates.
Never expect your teammates to know what has to be done, particularly if it is only in your mind! Put it on paper. Once your team is picked, let them help in planning. If they help write the plan, they will better understand its overall objectives. Your master plan should be your guide for the coming year. Let every team member have a copy. Refer to it. Use it. Don't forget it.
Calendaring and Timetables 1. In addition to stating overall objectives, your written plan needs a calendar and timetables. Include in the calendar:
A. Dates fixed on state law. B. Community activity dates. C. Party activity dates. D. Dates of your plan's activities. 2. Your timetable is actually a reverse calendar. A reverse calendar states your plan, step by step, in reverse. For example, pick the date of your event, i.e., a canvass kickoff, Now simply work backwards from that date and determine what needs to be done , the time it takes to do it and how many people are needed to get it done. Plan your work, and then, work your plan!
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RECRUIT AND TRAIN VOLUNTEERS
Any political strategist will tell you that the more people involved in a campaign, the more likely the campaign is to be successful. There are more basic reasons, though, for involving as many of your neighbors as possible in your Republican precinct work -- it makes your job easier! It is important that Precinct leaders conduct training for their volunteers. This includes instruction on how to handle door to door encounters, precinct lists, Election Day duties, etc. When looking for volunteers, do not overlook the Republican Women's Clubs, Pachyderm Clubs, the Young Republicans, College Republicans or other workers who have volunteered in previous years; they can provide a rich source of willing volunteers. Among the jobs for which volunteers may be needed are the following: REGISTRAR As of passage of the federal "Motor Votor" legislation, counties in Idaho do not provide registrars. However, Idaho law still requires a nonpartisan registrar to be provided at the request of a Precinct leader. The County Clerk must also provide a supply of registration forms to Precinct leaders upon request. BLOCK WORKER Divide your precinct into sensible groups of 10-20 living units. Recruit one Block Worker for each unit. POLL WATCHER Ideally, one poll watcher is required for each two hour period on Primary and General Election days. The Poll Watcher will record who has voted so favorable voters who have not yet voted can be contacted and encouraged to vote. POLL CHALLENGER Ideally, one poll challenger is required for each two hour period on Primary and General Election days. The Poll Challenger will challenge voters when there is some question arising as to their eligibility. Make sure they file with the County Clerk prior to the established filing deadline.
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This is the only paid job in the precinct, so you should choose people who have been and will continue to be good party workers. Precinct leaders should not be judges and thus prevent yourself from functioning as a Republican official in charge of your precinct on Election Day.
Be a Republican Volunteer
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A. Map the Precinct A precinct map locating every residence is a great tool for effective precinct organization. The map will help you define the blocks and areas to which each of your workers is assigned and to spot people who are not registered and, on Election Day, voters who have not voted. How TO MAP A PRECINCT STEP 1 STEP 2 STEP 3 Secure a precinct map from your County Headquarters, or from the County Clerk's office. If possible, divide your map into logical areas or blocks with no more than 20 residences in each. Begin the search for block and area workers who will be responsible for organizing each of the areas you have outlined in your map.
Maintain Precinct Voter Records 1. Information to Record
With a home computer, the easiest way to maintain precinct records is on a simple spreadsheet. Voter Vault can also be used,and is considered the most powerful tool for managing voter information. If a computer is not available, an index card file will also work well. These records should conform to the following guidelines: a. b. c. Create one record for each voter in the precinct, regardless of the number of persons per household. Include name, address, phone, and registration status. Note Party affiliation, such as Republican, Democrat, Independent or Unknown.
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Grace Precinct #1 Voter Records
Rec. # Name Address 271 Highway 34 1281 Ivins Road 130 Main Street 389 Fish Hatchery Road 397 Fish Hatchery Road 459 N. Third Avenue 120 West 2nd South Phone (208) 427-6654 (208) 425-3904 (208) 425-3543 (208) 425-6320 (208) 425-6661 (208) 425-3154 (208) 425-3246 Registered Yes No Yes Yes Yes
933Martha Bassett 13Patricia Bassett 501Scott P. Bennett 187Duane Bitton 833Keith Bitton 893Wayne Bosen 314Clair Chadwick
I R R R
Precinct # Telephone # Last Name Street Address Registered – Yes No Party Affiliation (circle) Rep Dem Ind Unk Other Information First Name MI____
Sample Precinct Record Index Card
C. Use Precinct Records Consult and make use of your precinct records frequently, both to keep them updated, and to ensure that each voter is being reached by precinct activities. The records can be used for: 1. Registration drives; 2. Finance and endorsement ad drives; 3. Volunteer recruitment; and 4. Get-the-Vote-Out activities.
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CANVASSING THE PRECINCT
A. Purpose of the Canvass
A precinct canvass is the single most important element of political organization. It is absolutely essential to every other program and project that will be conducted in a campaign whether it be city, county, state, or federal, The purpose of the canvass is to provide the basic information with which to capture each and every potential favorable vote for Republican candidates. There is no other means with which to determine who the favorable voter is within the election district. The canvass is a vehicle which enables the political party to contact the voter on a personal, one-on-one basis and may in fact be the only such contact which will take place during the entire campaign. Some of the more obvious reasons for conducting the precinct poll are as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. To locate eligible voters who are registered. To locate eligible voters who are registered, but will not be able to go to the polls and therefore will need an absentee ballot. To locate all Republicans and favorable independents for the "GetOut-theVote" campaign on Election Day. To locate Republicans and favorable independents who need a ride to the polls, a babysitter, or other assistance on Election Day. To recruit volunteers who are willing to donate their time and efforts on behalf of the Republican Party and its candidates. To accumulate mailing lists for campaign and finance direct mailings. To gather the necessary information with which to conduct a door-to-door fund-raising program.
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How to Begin the Canvass
Although canvassing techniques may vary slightly from city to city and from county to county there is some information which should be accumulatedby all canvassers. The basic instructions for canvassing are as follows: A. B. C. D. Call precinct workers together to explain the purpose of canvassing and go over the "Do's and Don'ts of Canvassing" [Appendix I]. For newly recruited volunteers, or those who are new to canvassing, provide a sample script [Appendix II]. Provide each Block Worker with a map of the area to be canvassed. Also furnish a list of registered voters. Set deadlines for the canvass to be completed. Provide each worker with enough canvass forms [Appendix III] to cover all households in their assigned area.
ADDRESS Fill in the address of the house before you knock on the door. If no one answers, you have a complete record of the addresses for your return visit. When appropriate be sure to Include letters "N", "S", "E", and "W" just before the space for the street name. This is important to ensure mail reaches the correct address. Be sure to include the apartment number, if any. Be sure to include as much of the zip code as is known. Bulk mailings are expensive unless sent under rates which require careful zip+4 sorting and bundling. NAME Note any appropriate titles, such as "Doctor," "The Honorable," "Reverend," etc. Knowing the voter's correct title can be important in mailing projects and telephone contacts. REMARKS It is suggested that you make a record of any pertinent information observed during the interview. One thing you probably should list in the remarks section are the ages of children in the household who will be reaching voting age within the next year or two.
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TELEPHONE NUMBERS Telephone numbers are especially important for Republican and undecided voters because you will want to call them during your get-out-the-vote effort on Election Day. In some cases business phone numbers will make it easier to contact the person on Election Day. You may be asked why you want the telephone number. Explain that you make it a practice to call voters in the precinct on Election Day. Some Precinct leaders have indicated that it is best to make this one of the last questions asked during the interview. REGISTRATION Be sure to record whether the voters are registered at their present address. Registration "at their present address" is necessary because many persons don't realize that they have to re-register each time they move. Be sure the voters' registration matches their present address. If you encounter voters who are not registered and have determined that they would vote for a majority of the Republican candidates, offer information on how to register. PARTY AFFILIATION Party identification is the single most important piece of information in the canvass. The response you receive to this question will determine the nature of all future contacts with that voter between the canvass and Election Day. Proper use of the "Independent" option, combined with an appropriate follow-up, could be a key factor to a successful canvass. Occasionally, a voter will be reluctant to answer a question on party preference. Don't be overly persistent, but diplomatically ask in a different manner, such as "At this time do you favor a majority of the candidates of the Republican Party?" "How do you usually vote in Primary Elections?" "Would you say you lean more toward one party than the other?" You may encounter individual cases in which a voter will absolutely refuse to discuss party preference. Should this happen, don't press the issue -simply be courteous and move on to other questions.
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INTEREST IN VOLUNTEERING When you encounter Republicans, don't hesitate to ask them to volunteer for the Party's sake. It is surprising how many people will say "yes." Use the remarks section of the card to explain the type of help the person will be able to give. For the most part, the volunteers you meet will be able to assist with various assignments within your precinct organization. However, in those cases where an individual's skills or interests go beyond the Precinct's needs, such as with major donor fund-raising, speech-writing, letter-to-the-editor campaigns, etc. -- these volunteers should be brought to the attention of the County Chairman. SPECIAL PROVISIONS Provisions for voters who will need assistance in order to vote can be divided into three categories: "Absentee," "Rides", and "Babysitters." 1. Absentee Voters Don't overlook a potential absentee voter who intends to vote for a majority of the Republican candidates. At the time of the canvass you can ascertain which households have a family member in the military service or in attendance at a college or university outside the county. You can also learn of persons confined either within the household, at a hospital, or at a nursing home. In addition, you may learn that a voter plans to be out of the country on Election Day. All of these are prime candidates for voting by absentee ballot. It is imperative, however, that a follow up effort be made during the month of October, for there will be additional cases in which absentee ballots will be required due to vacations, business trips, unexpected illnesses, and other reasons which will not be apparent at the time of the canvass. 2. Rides
Also keep a record of all persons who need a ride to the polls. You may have to make an appointment with the voter and make certain that a driver stops by at a specific time. 1. Babysitters This is another service you should record when canvassing, and which should be available for your voters, especially if you have a precinct with a significant number of young couples.
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It may be appropriate to mention this when asking voters if they need a ride to the polls. Rather than sending a babysitter to the voter's home, it seems more acceptable to some parents to suggest that they bring the youngsters to the polling place. Naturally, if you make this suggestion you should have someone available to watch the children while the parent goes inside to vote. VOTERS 18- TO 20-YEARS OLD A record of 18- to 20-year-old voters will assist the Party in determining its strength among younger voters as well as alerting precinct workers in case they need to inform first time voters about voting procedures. The only time you need to ask a voter's age is when you are inquiring about children in the household who will be reaching voting age in the near future. You will want to remind them to register. D. Canvassing in General
Canvassing can give you an opportunity to establish a friendly relationship with the voters in your precinct. By all means try to be pleasant. Look the person right in the eye. Don't argue. A friendly comment about the voter's home, pet, children, flowers, or whatever you see that you can genuinely compliment will result in a more friendly, cooperative interview. Be sure to adequately identify yourself by name and title, and let the voter know the purpose of your visit. Some canvassers even have printed calling cards to leave at the voter's house. From time to time you may encounter evasive answers or observe individuals attempting to avoid answering the door. Do not allow this to discourage you. You will encounter many other people who are friendly and delighted to have you call. A major difficulty encountered in canvassing is trying to find people at home. While this will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood, afternoons between 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM and weekends seem to be the best time to canvass. If you interrupt at mealtime, apologize and set a time to return when it is more convenient for the voter.
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Turning precinct canvassing into effective lists.
After you gather this information, there are countless uses for the data you have collected. Following important tools start at the precinct level: fundraising lists, volunteer cultivation, candidate cultivation, and get out the vote call lists. With the use of a spreadsheet program, such as the widely used Excel, it is easy to manage and share this data. If you are not computer savvy, find someone in your county organization that could help you successfully store this data. To share data electronically, it is important to use a standardized form of data collection. This is the format used by the State Party: FN John LN AD Doe 11860 Main St CITY STATE ZIP BoiseID 83709 PHONE PARTY 555-5555 R
I. The use of Voter Vault. Voter Vault is an online database service provided by the Republican National Committee to help state and local party officials successfully manage and share voter information. The web address is www.votervault.com. To access Voter Vault a password is required. Contact the State Party or your county chair to be issued a password. With the help of Voter Vault you can look up individual voters and identify them by party preference. Later you can export these lists to create volunteer, fundraising, get out the vote lists and to help in your registration drives. For example, precinct committee workers can export a list of all the unidentified voters in their precinct and focus their efforts on identifying these voters. The identification information can then be updated on the database. Voters can also be placed into affiliation lists to keep track of county level volunteers. Most importantly, while we are working on these projects we need to remember how valuable this information is to our Republican candidates. It is critical for them to have this information in order to run successful campaigns.
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A. Registration Basics It is the duty of Precinct leaders to register every Republican and Republicanleaning voter in the precinct. The basics of a voter registration program include: 1. 2. 3. From the canvass, determine who is not registered. Call on and furnish information on how, where and when to register. Know who is eligible to register and vote – a. b. c. B. Any U.S. citizen, not otherwise disenfranchised; 18 years or older; and Resident in the State of Idaho for at least thirty (30) days prior to the election.
Common Registration Questions 1. When can you register to vote? At any time prior, to 24-days before the election, or at the place of polling itself on election day. What documentation is required to register? A registration card can be submitted to the County Clerk's office, or if registering at the polling place, proof of residency within the Precinct for at least 30 days prior to election day, along with a valid photo I.D. A driver's license satisfies both of these requirements. How can military personnel register to vote? Members of the Armed Services can register to vote by post cards provided by the Federal Government. Or, if they meet the above qualifications, they can register in Idaho. Once you have registered, do you ever have to register again if you continue to vote while living at the same address? No. What if a voter is unable to register due to disability or illness? The voter may register by affidavit. Call the County Clerk for help. Do you have to register again if you move? Yes.
4. 5. 6.
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Meet the Candidates Upon the completion of your canvass and registration drives, Precinct leaders should then begin preparations for Election Day. This period should be devoted to the campaign and exposure of the candidates.
It is very helpful for candidates to gain exposure to groups of unaffiliated or undecided voters. A list of such names should be readily available from the recent canvass. Several Precinct leaders may work together to assemble larger groups for community or neighborhood gatherings. Such neighborhood "meet and greet" opportunities are important, especially so that candidates may meet and know your Precinct team and volunteer workers. As Precinct leaders, you should arrange at least one meeting of your precinct team during this period.
Precinct leaders are responsible for providing voters within their precinct information about the Republican candidates on the ballot. Rather than pay postage for each Republican candidate to mail their own literature, it can be very cost-effective to "bundle" literature from a number of candidates, and drop it off door-to-door within the Precinct. This will often be done the week prior to Election Day. Literature drops are an excellent activity in which to involve youth volunteers in your precinct. A. Finance Campaigns A neighborhood finance campaign is the most effective way to enlist virtually every Republican household in getting the Party's message out. Not only does it help advertize the Party's candidates and positions, but a person who contributes to the Party, even if only a dollar, is far more likely to follow-up with a vote for the candidates they supported financially. Appoint a Finance Chairman for the precinct. Work from a list of previous donors. You will often be soliciting for a specific "endorsement ad" or other campaign message on a local radio station or newspaper. Any contribution, no matter how small, should be accepted with gratitude and followed-up with a formal "Thank You" from the Party. Be sure this is done.
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A. Absentee Ballots Many people don't know they are eligible to vote by absentee ballot. Remind them. Help them anticipate their Election Day needs. The procedure for voting by absentee ballot is simple: A. The voter must request an absentee ballot from the County Clerk. The absentee ballot can be voted immediately, or voters can request the ballot be mailed to their home addresses. The request must be into the County Clerk six days prior to Election Day. The voter marks the ballot, and seals the ballot in the appropriate envelope provided.
The return envelope must be mailed or delivered to the Clerk who issued it; AND IT MUST BE RECEIVED by 8:00 PM on the day of the election.
Prior to Election Day, Precinct leaders should conduct an absentee ballot drive, as follows:
After the canvass, make a list from information obtained of Republicans and leaning-Republicans who have indicated that they will need an absentee ballot. Contact the persons identified and remind them to request an absentee ballot. You may want to send a letter including information and the proper form for requesting a ballot. Follow-up. Maintain a master list of names and phone numbers of everyone contacted. Prior to the deadline for application, make a final telephone call.
On Election Day
By Election Day, volunteers should be organized and assigned specific duties. These should include: Telephone committee — will prepare lists of voters to exchange with poll watchers so as to determine who has voted and who still needs to vote.
1. Poll watchers 2. Drivers to pick up voters on Election Day 3. Preparation of voter lists
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Someone should always be at the Precinct Headquarters to answer questions and solve problems as the day progresses. The activity occupying most of the time at Headquarters is the effort to get out the Republican vote. Every one to two hours someone should go to the polls to pick up the records of those who have voted and bring them back to Precinct Headquarters. You should then cross off the names of those who have voted on your list. In the afternoon you should start calling those favorable voters one the list who have not voted. You should concentrate first on any voters whose work schedules would allow voting during the morning and afternoon. C. Poll Watchers
At the Primary Election. each political party plus each candidate participating in the primary shall be entitled to have a poll watcher at each precinct polling place. At the General Election, only the parties are entitled to have poll watchers. The duties of the poll watcher include: To observe voting and counting procedures, reporting any questionable procedure to the County Clerk or County Headquarters; and
To maintain a list of those who have voted. Poll watchers should follow these instructions:
1. Don't let socializing interfere with your job or hinder election procedures. 2. Be prompt and be at the polling place on time; you may be relieving another
volunteer. Do not leave the polling place until the person watching the polls after you has arrived.
3. Don't forget to vote yourself.
The first poll watchers should request the list of absentee voters from the judges. Indicate these in your records.
4. 5. Do not wear political buttons or other political decoration. Do not engage in
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Disabled Voter Assistance at the Polls
Any registered electors who declare under oath to the judges that by reason of blindness or other physical disability or inability to read or write, they are unable to prepare the ballot or operate the voting machine without assistance: they shall be entitled, upon request, to receive assistance from an election judge or any elector who may be selected by the disabled voter. However, no person, except a judge of election, shall be permitted to enter the voting booth as an assistant to more than one voter.
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APPENDIX I — THE DO'S AND DON'TS OF CANVASSING 1. TO BEGIN Know, if possible, the name of the persons on whom you are calling. The name may be obtained from registration lists, neighbors, or even the mailbox. If you are unable to find out the voter's name, don't be afraid to ask once you have introduced yourself. 2. WHEN TO CALL: Call from 9:30 AM 11:30 AM or between 1:30 PM and 4:30 PM. In the evening, call from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM. DO NOT call when children are to be readied for school, or too near mealtime. 3. WHERE TO CONDUCT CALL Conduct your interview at the door. Avoid going inside, this only causes delay. 4. HOW TO BEGIN Introduce yourself. Say, "My name is_______________________, representing the Republican Party."
You may find out immediately that the person is a dedicated Democrat. If so, leave without comment, but on a note of friendliness. DO NOT get drawn into a debate or argue. If you the person remains open to your interview, proceed by asking the following questions: 1. May I ask you a few quick questions? 2. May I have your full name? 3. Are you registered to vote at your present address? If the answer is "no," tell them how to register or make an address change. 4. Would you describe yourself as a Republican or a Democrat? 5. Are there others of voting age living in your home? May I have their names? ( Be sure to note "Mr.", "Miss", etc.) 6. Are there any persons in your household who will turn 18 soon, or within the next two years? 7. If, after learning the name and address, the resident proves to be a dedicated Democrat, politely conclude the interview, and thank the person for their time,
5. OTHER QUESTIONS TO ASK a. Will anyone in the family need an Absentee Ballot? b. Will anyone need transportation on Election Day? c. Will anyone need a babysitter?
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KNOW ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS THAT MAY BE ASKED: a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. j. k. m n. Where do I vote? What precinct am I in? When is the Primary? Can an Independent vote then? When is the General Election? Can anyone vote? What does your Party stand for? (An intelligent, well thought-out answer could result in extra votes for the Party.) Who are the candidates? What is their background and what are their statements? What can I do to help the Party? Are there any Republican Clubs around here? How do I join? Where do I get bumper stickers, buttons, and campaign literature? Who is the County Chairman, the Vice-Chairman, and the Secretary? Who's in charge of my precinct? How do I find out if I am registered to vote? How do I register to vote? Where do I register to vote?
7. THINGS YOU MUST DO: a. Be brief and be a good listener. b. Be friendly. This person is a friend, regardless of party orientation. c. Leave on a note of friendliness. d. Have all the answers, if possible. If you cannot answer a question, admit it, but promise to get the information and call again. You will have paved the way for an important second call. e. Leave an appropriate piece of literature, if possible. f. You must confine yourself to Party principles and administration. g. Be sure to indicate the Republican precinct organization is at the service of each voter. 8. THINGS YOU MUST NOT DO: a. Never begin the conversation "Are you a Republican or Democrat?" b. Never get into controversial issues. c. Never debate. d. Never make derogatory remarks about any Republican organization, candidate or officeholder. e. Never make statements about opposition candidates that you cannot prove. f. Never antagonize.
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Appendix II- Example Canvasser's Script Mark house number on the worksheet before approaching the door. Knock on the door of each occupied house on the blocks assigned to you. Remember to be pleasant and smile. "Good Morning, my name is_______________________, and I am a Republican Volunteer. (Pause) We are conducting a survey, and I would like to ask you a few questions. 1. Are you a registered voter at this address? check — Yes No 2. Which of the following best describes the way you usually vote: a. Almost Always Republican b. More Republican than Democrat, c. More Democrat than Republican, or d. Almost Always Democrat NOTE:Never offer "Independent" as an option. If someone says they are independent, mark it accordingly as described below:
IF ANSWER IS Always Republican
MARK SHEET AND SAY THEN WRITE Solid Republican; "May I have Name and phone number your name and phone number?" your name and phone number?" your time. Goodbye." Solid Democrat; "Thank you for Nothing your time. Goodbye." Independent; "May I have your Name and phone number name and phone number?"
More Republican than Leaning Republican; "May I have Name and phone number Democrat Republican Always Democrat Independent More Democrat than Leaning Democrat; "Thank you for Nothing
NOTE: Continue to question 3 only if the voter is a "Solid" or "Leaning" Republican, 3.Are there any others at this address 18 years or older who are not registered to vote? IF ANSWER IS YES, try to survey them as well. Get the names and print them on the sheet next to the house number, and continue, 4.Will you need an absentee ballot? Will anyone need transportation on Election Day? Will anyone need a babysitter on Election Day? 5,Would you like to do volunteer work for the Republican Party? IF ANSWER IS YES, put a check mark under volunteer on your worksheet. Do you have any questions about registering, voting, or contacting the Party or its candidates? Thank y ou for your time. Goodbye."
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