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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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"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

. And on Election Day, see that

every Whig is brought to the polls."

Abraham Lincoln
published in the Illinois State
Register February 21. 1840

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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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• 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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As a Precinct leader, the party is counting on you to do the following:

1. Represent your precinct on the County Central Committee.

2. Represent your precinct on the Legislative District Committee.

3. Have a plan for building the Republican Party in your precinct (make a
timetable and use it to get things done on schedule).

4. Recruit and train volunteers.

5. Organize your precinct by blocks or units, using maps and spreadsheets or

index card files.

6. Canvass your precinct to get a true political picture.

7. Conduct a voter registration drive.

8. Distribute information on Republican candidates, election procedures and laws.

9. Turn out every possible Republican vote on election day.

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 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
• 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 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 –

State Chairman
Norm Semanko

Executive Director
Jonathan Parker

Finance Director
Anabel Manchester

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ARTICLE IV, Section 1(a)
As the only Party officials elected by popular The County Central Committee is composed
vote, Precinct leaders are the founding of the Precinct Committeemen and Precinct
members of the County Central Committee. It Committeewomen elected at the State
is they who elect the Central Committee's Primary Election, the County Chairman, Vice
leadership, including the county's Chairman. State Committeeman, State
Committeewoman, State Youth
representatives on the State Central Committeeperson, and such other officers of
Committee, consisting of: the County Central Committee as are elected
by the Precinct Committeemen and Precinct
1. County Chairman Committeewomen. All officers of the Central
Committee shall be elected by the
2. State Committeeman Precinct Committeemen and Precinct
3. State Committeewoman Committeewomen at a meeting called by the
4. incumbent County Chairman to be held within
IDAHO REPUBLICAN PARTY RULES ten (10) days after the Primary Election at the
4. county seat.
ARTICLE IV Section 3(a)
The County Central Committee shall fill by 4. Youth Committee Chair
election all vacancies that occur or exist in
the office of Precinct Committeemen.
Candidates shall be a qualified elector of the

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 ARTICLE IV. Section 4.
Central Committee functions, including:
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
Political Plans. county office vacancies. Proxies shall be honored
if in writing to another voting member and limited
to that particular meeting. Fifty-one percent (51`)/0)
Unless local bylaws allow, most business cannot be of the Precinct Committeemen and Precinct
done if over half the Precinct leaders are absent. Committeewomen from within the county shall
constitute a quorum, unless county by-laws
designate a different quorum RULES FILLING
County Commissioner and COMMISSIONERS
Other County Positions ARTICLE V, Sections 1 and 2
One of the most serious Section 1: In the event a vacancy arises on a board
responsibilities of the Precinct of County Commissioners, by reason of resignation,
death or otherwise, it shall be the duty of the
leader occurs when a vacancy
Chairman of the County Central
happens in an elected office within Committee wherein the vacancy exists to call a
the County. If the office had been meeting of the County Central Committee within ten
held by a Republican, it is up to the (10) days after giving forty-eight (48) hours notice,
Precinct leaders under the County stating the purpose of the meeting, which is
Chairman's lead, to elect a slate of recommending to the Governor three (3) nominees
to fill said vacancy.
three qualified Republicans to fill the
Section 2: At the meeting of the County Central
vacant position. Committee for the purpose of recommending to the
If the vacancy is a County Governor three (3) nominees to fill a vacancy on a
Commissioner, the slate is provided board of county commissioners, only County
Chairman, Precinct Committeemen, and Precinct
to the Governor for appointment. Committeewomen shall be entitled to nominate
If the vacancy occurs in another candidates and vote. All nominees must reside
County position, the slate is within the county district where the vacancy exists. A
provided to the County Precinct Committeeman or Precinct
Commissioners. Committeewoman may vote for three (3) candidates
in preferential order.


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
A. Legislative District
The boundaries of legislative
ARTICLE VII, Section 1
districts in Idaho can be contained
within a single county, or can The Legislative District Committee is composed
encompass multiple counties. In of Precinct Committeemen and Precinct
Committeewomen elected at the State Primary
either case, it is the Precinct Election, the Legislative District Chairman, Vice
leaders of the District that organize Chairmen, Secretary, and other such officers of
and elect the Republican Party the Legislative District as are elected by the
leadership for that District. Precinct Committeemen and Precinct
Committeewomen. The Precinct Committeemen
Precinct leaders should be a and Precinct Committeewomen shall elect all
officers of the Legislative District at a meeting
grassroots support team, a called by the incumbent Legislative District
"cheering section" for their local 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.

should, in
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consult with their Precinct leaders on the needs of the District.

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B. 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.


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


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A. 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.

1. Never expect your teammates to know what has to be done, particularly if

it is only in your mind! Put it on paper.

2. Once your team is picked, let them help in planning. If they help write the
plan, they will better understand its overall objectives.

1. 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.

B. 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.

3. Plan your work, and then, work your plan!

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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

Among the jobs for which volunteers may be needed are the following:

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.

Divide your precinct into sensible groups of 10-20 living units. Recruit one Block
Worker for each unit.

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.

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

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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.


STEP 1 - Secure a precinct map from your County Headquarters, or from the County
Clerk's office.

STEP 2 - If possible, divide your map into logical areas or blocks with no more than
20 residences in each.

STEP 3 - Begin the search for block and area workers who will be responsible for
organizing each of the areas you have outlined in your map.

B. 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. Create one record for each voter in the precinct, regardless of the
number of persons per household.

b. Include name, address, phone, and registration status.

c. Note Party affiliation, such as Republican, Democrat, Independent

or Unknown.

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Grace Precinct #1 Voter Records

Rec. # Name Address Phone Registered Party

933Martha Bassett 271 Highway 34 (208) 427-6654 Yes R
13Patricia Bassett 1281 Ivins Road (208) 425-3904 No U
501Scott P. Bennett 130 Main Street (208) 425-3543 Yes I
187Duane Bitton 389 Fish Hatchery Road (208) 425-6320 Yes R
833Keith Bitton 397 Fish Hatchery Road (208) 425-6661 Yes R
893Wayne Bosen 459 N. Third Avenue (208) 425-3154 Yes
314Clair Chadwick 120 West 2nd South (208) 425-3246 Yes R

Precinct #

Telephone #

Last Name First Name MI____

Street Address

Registered – Yes No Party Affiliation (circle)

Rep Dem Ind Unk

Other Information

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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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. To locate eligible voters who are registered.

2. To locate eligible voters who are registered, but will not be able to go to
the polls and therefore will need an absentee ballot.

3. To locate all Republicans and favorable independents for the "GetOut-the-

Vote" campaign on Election Day.

4. To locate Republicans and favorable independents who need a ride to the

polls, a babysitter, or other assistance on Election Day.

5. To recruit volunteers who are willing to donate their time and efforts on
behalf of the Republican Party and its candidates.

6. To accumulate mailing lists for campaign and finance direct mailings.

7. To gather the necessary information with which to conduct a door-to-door

fund-raising program.

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B. 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. Call precinct workers together to explain the purpose of canvassing and go
over the "Do's and Don'ts of Canvassing" [Appendix I].
B. For newly recruited volunteers, or those who are new to canvassing,
provide a sample script [Appendix II].
C. Provide each Block Worker with a map of the area to be canvassed. Also
furnish a list of registered voters.
D. 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.
C. Canvass Information
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
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
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
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 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.
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 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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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.
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
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.


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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E. 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:


John Doe 11860 Main St BoiseID 83709 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 To access Voter Vault a
password is required. Contact the State Party or your county chair to be issued a

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 Republican-

leaning voter in the precinct. The basics of a voter registration program include:
1. From the canvass, determine who is not registered.
2. Call on and furnish information on how, where and when to register.
3. Know who is eligible to register and vote –
a. Any U.S. citizen, not otherwise disenfranchised;
b. 18 years or older; and
c. Resident in the State of Idaho for at least thirty (30) days prior to the
B. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Once you have registered, do you ever have to register again if you
continue to vote while living at the same address? No.
5. 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.
6. Do you have to register again if you move? Yes.

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A. 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.
B. Literature Drops
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
C. 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:
D. After the canvass, make a list from information obtained of Republicans
and leaning-Republicans who have indicated that they will need an
absentee ballot.
E. 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.
F. 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.
B. 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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4. Babysitters

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.

4. The first poll watchers should request the list of absentee voters from the
judges. Indicate these in your records.
5. Do not wear political buttons or other political decoration. Do not engage in
political discussion.

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D. 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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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.
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.
Conduct your interview at the door. Avoid going inside, this only causes delay.
Introduce yourself. Say, "My name is_______________________, and I am
representing the Republican Party."
a. 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.
b. 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,
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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a. Where do I vote?
b. What precinct am I in?
c. When is the Primary? Can an Independent vote then?
d. When is the General Election? Can anyone vote?
e. What does your Party stand for? (An intelligent, well thought-out answer
could result in extra votes for the Party.)
f. Who are the candidates? What is their background and what are their
g. What can I do to help the Party?
h. Are there any Republican Clubs around here? How do I join? Where do I
get bumper stickers, buttons, and campaign literature?
j. Who is the County Chairman, the Vice-Chairman, and the Secretary?
k. Who's in charge of my precinct?
How do I find out if I am registered to vote?
m How do I register to vote?
n. Where do I register to vote?
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.
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
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:
Always Republican Solid Republican; "May I have Name and phone number
your name and phone number?"
More Republican than Leaning Republican; "May I have Name and phone number
Democrat your name and phone number?"
More Democrat than Leaning Democrat; "Thank you for Nothing
Republican your time. Goodbye."
Always Democrat Solid Democrat; "Thank you for Nothing
your time. Goodbye."
Independent Independent; "May I have your Name and phone number
name and phone number?"
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
ou for your time. Goodbye."

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