Field Wins Campaigns
Ask any campaign field director and he or she will tell you it’s true: field wins campaigns. You can spend 75 percent of your budget on advertising. You can spend more on a stage for your Election Night party than you do on feeding your volunteers. Your candidate can spend all of his or her time on the phone and never walk a single precinct. But the fact is, if you don’t identify your voters and get them to the polls on Election Day, you will lose. Everything you do in your campaign is really immaterial if you don’t remember that crucial point. The best ads created with the most money for the most eloquent candidate won’t matter if you can’t get your souls to the polls. Resources are scarce, and your campaign will have a limited amount of people, time and money. Every campaign will have to make decisions on field programming based on an honest evaluation of its resources. A central theme of this manual is that you will have to choose how to distribute your people, time, and money. This manual is designed to guide you through the steps you need to take to run an efficient field operation for your campaign. Follow this guide closely and you can be sure you won’t neglect a vital ingredient in your winning campaign.

What is Field?
Field organizing is the act of reaching out to voters through direct, one-on-one communication. Some people refer to it as “voter contact” or “grassroots organizing,” but the ultimate goal is to contact voters directly, identify the ones who support you, and get them to the polls to vote for you on Election Day. Field organizing is a cross between an art and a science While the craft of field organizing is based on understanding and utilizing numbers, it also relies on creativity and instinct from people on the ground to reach out to voters in a way that is personal, efficient and, most importantly, relevant to people’s lives. Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 1 1

Field organizing is a dynamic process that is adjusted and changed during the course of a campaign. At the beginning of a race you may make certain assumptions about goals. But in the long run your goals will be impacted by unanticipated factors such as a local ballot initiative that affects turnout or the actions of from various groups who promised resources but didn’t come through. All the good number crunching in the world can’t take that into account. Most people think that field organizing takes place in the last two months of the campaign (September and October). However, effective organizing is the result of year-round efforts that culminate in activities designed to mobilize your vote.


Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 1


The first and most crucial thing you need to know in a campaign is how many votes it will take for you to win. Remember: you are not trying to come close or almost win. You want to make sure your field program is going to generate — at the very least — 50 percent of the vote plus one more vote, and you should plan to win with a more comfortable margin of two percent.

Sometimes you’ll hear campaign professionals ask, “So, how do you get to fifty plus one?” They’re asking what the plan is to get just enough votes to win. Since winning by one vote counts just as much as winning by one million votes, you should choose the most efficient path and plan to win by fifty plus one, and for planning purposes, fifty-two percent of the vote. As we look at achieving 52% of the vote, traditionally, voters can be broken down into the following demographic categories: 1. Democratic Base Voters. These are the people who will always vote for you as long as you get them to the polls. The goal with these voters is to maximize turnout wherever possible. Anyone taking part in field organizing activities — whether directly through your campaign, through an allied effort, or through the party — should keep this in mind when reaching out to core constituent voters. 2. Persuadable Voters. Often referred to as “ticket-splitters,” these are people who have not yet made up their minds to vote for a particular candidate. The goal is to move persuadable voters into the Democratic column. Usually persuasion is best left to the individual campaigns, but county parties can help create an environment which is more favorable to Democrats. What you say and the issues on which you run should take into careful consideration the views of persuadable voters.

Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 2


you need to reassess your field strategy. Figure out who they are and where they live and never go there! They aren’t going to vote for you and it’s a waste of time and resources to try to reach them. People who always vote and always vote Democratic Do target: D. People who always vote Republican C. People who will never vote B. and often these demographic groups are clustered: 1. Republican Base Voters. Urban 2. BASE VOTE + PERSUADABLE VOTE = NUMBER OF VOTES NEEDED TO WIN. Swing voters who only sometimes vote — 2nd persuasion At the end of the day. Suburban 3.3. If that equation doesn’t add up. Democrats who only sometimes vote — for GOTV F. Voters can also be broken down geographically. Swing voters who always vote —for persuasion E. Courtesy of Ken Strasma Don’t target for persuasion or GOTV: A. Rural 4 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 2 .

these are common terms used: • • • • Registration: The total number of registered voters in a particular precinct. commercial vendor or the National Committee for an Effective Congress (NCEC). Most base voters live within high Democratic performance precincts. Democratic Performance: The average percentage a Democratic candidate may get in the jurisdiction you are targeting. Turnout Percent: The percentage of registered voters who have voted in similar elections in past years. To identify where and who those voters are. Check with your local or state Democratic Party to see if targeting is available.Geographic Targeting To figure out your vote goal at a comfortable total of 52%.9 percent. But whatever type of targeting is produced. These are where most of your persuadable voters live. High Democratic Performance Precincts: Precincts with a 65 percent and above Democratic Party Performance. you will most likely need your base voters and some persuadable voters. Most Democratic campaigns will use targeting produced by the state party.9 percent Democratic performance. you will need precinct-level data from previous elections that indicates how those Democrats have done in those precincts. Expected Vote: The number of people expected to vote in the current election. town. • • • Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 2 5 . This information is the base of your targeting. Swing Precincts: Precincts with a 45-64. county. or state. You can discern this figure by calculating the average vote percentage of the Democrat in the race over the past three to four elections. Most Republican voters live in these precincts. Low Democratic Performance Precincts: Precincts with a Democratic performance of lower than 44.

50) + 1 = __________ Minimum Votes Needed To Win Expected Vote _____ X (.(_________________) = __________________ Calculation 4 How well does a Democrat usually do? (Democratic Performance) X (Expected Turnout) = Expected Dem Vote _____________________ X ________________ = _________________ 6 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 2 .(Dem Base Vote) = Vote Deficit (__________________) .52) = ___________ Comfortable Margin of Victory Calculation 2 Who will vote for you no matter what you do? Select three “bad” elections Election 1 Election 2 Election 3 Average Election/Race Democratic % (Average %) X (Expected Vote) = Dem Base Vote (______________) X (_____________) = ___________ Calculation 3 How many more votes do you need? Find the size of the deficit: (Comfortable) .Vote Goal Worksheet Calculate using NCEC data (see appendix) Calculation 1 How many votes does it take to win? Expected Vote _____ X (.

then the task is to hold the Democratic vote. Make a judgment about goals here: We will aim to win/move _____% of the ticket-splitters. Calculation 6 How many voters are persuadable? Persuasion Index ______________ Persuasion Percentage __________________ Calculation 7 How many “Persuadables” must you persuade? (Vote Deficit) / (Persuasion Index) = Percentage of “Persuadables” to Persuade (__________) / (____________) = __________________ Calculation 8 Can you increase turnout? The GOTV index is __________ Conclusions What are the goals for winning “Persuadables” vs. then the task is to persuade “ticket-splitters”.” Compare Expected Democratic Vote (Cal #3) vs. Therefore. _____________ If the result is a surplus.Calculation 5 Determine “strategic task. If the result is negative. turning out sporadic-voting Democrats? Compare the percentage of the ticket-splitters you have to win with the GOTV index. #1) ______________ vs. Comfortable Victory (Cal. Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 2 7 . we will aim to move ______% of the sporadic-voting Democrats.

Other key information is gender. and therefore. This is an attempt to be smart. and ultimately what is the best way to talk to them. a person who is a registered Democrat. So we need to take a guess. 8 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 2 . The data will give you counts of certain universes. race. Party registration is a key piece of information. and has voted in the past two primaries (one Presidential and one Gubernatorial). In other words. however. He or she is going to vote. The more information on your file. This is where your voter file becomes a key tool for targeting. the more targeted your universes can be. and when added to primary election and general election voter history.Demographic Targeting Now that you know where your geographic targets are. it is time to find Demographic targets within those precincts. and voted in the past two general elections (one Presidential and one Gubernatorial) is more likely to show up for the election. you can determine who your base voters are. age and any other information that can help you make a decision about which voters will get you to the 52 percent. it is really a guess because you never know how someone has voted based on their voting record – who they voted for is a secret. requires few or perhaps no reminders about the election.

) Accurate phone numbers for each voter.CHAPTER THREE Managing Your Data: The Voter File A voter file is the list of all registered voters in a city.) • Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 3 9 . and even commercial data. (Phone match should be at 70 percent. new phone numbers. changes in addresses. The following are some basic fields that need to be included (some are not available in all voter files): • Voting history for all voters. (At the very least. such as previous election history. should be from the previous two primary and general elections for the race you are running. county or state and is kept by county or municipal election officials. The Data It is important to review a few things immediately in your file: • What fields or categories of information are on the file? • When was the file last updated by the local election officials? • Do you have the most up to date precinct information in the file? • Does it include every voter in the state? • Are any counties missing? Good data will help your campaign make the right targeting and resource allocations. and if it isn’t the file can be matched against phone lists purchased through vendors or by having volunteers look through the phone book. This list is then enhanced by information.

4) Precincts change often and may not match census and NCEC data. Inherent Problems with Voter Files 1) Seventeen percent of the population moves every year and most don’t bother to let the former election officer know where they have moved. a pro-choice organization membership. 10 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 3 . not in using the file as a contact tool which is your primary use.) Date of birth Gender Race Party affiliation Early and Vote-by-Mail voters Registration date Email During your phone banks and canvassing efforts. or gun ownership. 5) Election officers/registrars are only interested in storing data and being able to confirm who are voters. (Addresses can be updated using the National Change of Address file (NCOA) from the postal service. Other bits of information that may be useful to note in your voter file are: labor union membership.• • • • • • • • Accurate addresses for each voter. That information is valuable to you because it creates the most efficient list of voters and eliminates wasted calls or visits. This information can be obtained by affiliated or endorser organizations and through state licenses. 2) Motor voter laws make it very difficult to remove voters who are no longer alive or have moved. 3) Unregistered voters are not included so you have to find other lists to target new registrants. 6) You shouldn’t add new registrants yourself because their registration won’t be confirmed until you get their names from the election officer in an updated file. any information you get back should be applied to the voter file.

A large operation with several field offices calls for a vendor-maintained file that can be accessed at all hours. When making the decision. day or night.In-House or Vendor-Maintained? The choice between keeping your voter file maintained in-house or hiring an outside vendor to build and maintain it is entirely up to the campaign. but you must make sure you have the appropriate tools. people and money. However. Your decision depends upon your resources of time. if you have a short period of time (several months) to use the data you may want to purchase voter files and if you have a longer time. you can get this information at the Secretary of State’s office or from the County or Municipal Board of Elections. you may want to build the files yourself. For example. or non-Democratic clients that you manage files for? 2) How often will you update the file? 3) What enhancements will you make to the file? 4) How long will it take to get data orders? 5) Will I be charged for each data order? 6) Do you have software or a Web-based management platform to manipulate data and create reports? 7) Can I customize walking lists and phoning lists? Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 3 11 . Where to Get a Voter File Your state Democratic Party maintains a file that can be purchased as do many voter file vendors. without the help of the vendor. A Web-Based format is often most efficient as it allows for easy access and easy updating. this requires Internet connections and computers at every office. Questions for Voter File Vendors: 1) Do you have non-political. and a quality control system for matching back data consistently. Additionally. ask yourself: • • • • • How many staff members are available to work with the data? How many field offices will be using the file? How much data will be appended back to the file on a daily basis? Can the current computer hardware support the file? Does the staff understand how to use the software? One office with competent staff probably can handle an in-house file.

8) What is the process for appending new data. to the file from vendors and field programs? 9) Can I have multiple users? 10) How many clients do you currently have? 12 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 3 . IDs. etc..

calculate the number of hours and phones it will take to do the job and determine if you will use a vendor for paid phone calls. volunteer recruitment. What separates voter contact from mass media is that it is targeted to a set of voters with a specific message to identify them. The backbone of any sort of organizing is a great list. voter files and volunteer lists. Discuss this with campaign staff and volunteers. phones are an opportunity to communicate and constantly |reinforce your message to a large group of voters in a short amount of time.CHAPTER FOUR Voter Contact Tactics Voter contact is direct communication with voters. Research where you can obtain this additional information. and ask them to contribute lists of friends. Check your resources. persuade them. Phones Used strategically. in the mail and at the doors. persuasion. or ask them to vote for your issue or candidate. Then estimate the number of identification phone calls and GOTV calls that need to be made. etc. event notification and voter turnout. Compare these lists to the voter file and establish what needs to be appended. then discuss how you can increase the accuracy of the list to maximize the effectiveness of your calling. co-workers.e. With those figures. i. neighbors.. Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 4 13 . Make sure your message being delivered on the phones is the same message being delivered on the media. Decide how many phone calls you need to make and how many phones are needed to execute those calls. They are one of the most commonly-used forms of voter contact for voter and issue identification.

14 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 4 . When making GOTV calls. Determine the advantages and disadvantages of vendor live. Phone Vendors There are a number of consulting firms that provide paid phone banks to candidates. how many phone calls will be made and any plans to expand your universe. If you do not want to hire a phone consultant. Some phone consultants will also send out a piece of mail to follow up on the call. If you opt for a paid phone vendor they can usually provide either live callers or automated calls (sometimes referred to as “robo-calls”) depending on your needs. Who Will be Called? Phone calls are only effective if the right groups get the right calls. phone calls can be stealth ways of garnering last-minute support in a campaign. Automated Phone Calls Automated phone calls can be used in virtually the same way as any other phone call. Other key groups should be called for voter identification. Forms of Calls Once you’ve figured out who you’re calling and why. However. When trying to build crowds for events. you need to decide how. you may want to hire your own phoners. who will be targeted. and volunteer live methods of calling and coordinate your campaign accordingly. and for volunteer recruitment. For example: when making persuasion calls. issue identification. only undecided voters should be contacted. only base voters or supporters of the campaign should be contacted.Then develop a plan outlining how phone calls help win the race. you may pay anywhere from 35 cents to 85 cents for a complete call. except that they are less personal and thus less effective. callers should include both supporters and persuadables in their call lists. Depending on the type of call. vendor auto call.

phoners should be given a chance to make a few practice calls using role-playing with the phone bank coordinator or volunteer coordinator. the process of recruiting and setting up volunteer phone banks creates a trained pool of workers that the campaign will need for GOTV. Volunteer phone banks are the cheapest way to make calls.and require very few resources beyond money. All your phoners should be provided with materials before they make their first calls. Remember how happy you were to talk to the last person who tried to sell you something over the phone? It is best to keep your phone scripts simple and to the point. • • • • Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 4 15 . Second. and use volunteers to call the less crucial areas. a good strategy is to use paid phones to call your most important target areas or voters. increasingly. uninvited. First. although volunteers are the least reliable of all phoners. If you’re using volunteer phone bankers make sure they remember these important points: • You are intruding into a person’s life. Nothing will be more disheartening to your volunteers than if they find out a group of people is being paid to do what they are doing for free. such as the candidate. you have built an operation that is a cost-effective way to get your calls done. Phoners should always attend a short training session. even though volunteers are less reliable. If you decide to have both paid and volunteer phoners it is important that they work in that you keep them in separate locations. more people are likely to hang up on an operator. Just as with a first-time canvasser. If you have the ability to coordinate both volunteer phoners and supervisors for those phoners to ensure that everyone will complete all of their calls. Assuming that volunteers cannot be relied on to complete their assigned calls. Phone Banks While hiring a paid phone bank is the quickest. there are two distinct disadvantages to shelling out the money for a phone bank. Here are a few things to remember when making calls. most accurate and reliable way to ensure that your campaign’s calls will get made. a well-known political figure or a celebrity. and are most effective when a notable voice is left on an answering machine. Auto calls are delivered within hours to thousands of people.

the local phone company may have considerable installation charges as well as a substantial deposit requirement for each phone line. Leave the sheet blank if the phone was busy or if no one was home.Phone Bank Set Up If you are unable to locate a law office or a large office headquarters in which to hold your phone bank operations. you may have to consider installing your own phone bank. Decide in advance if you are going to leave a message on an answering machine. 2. you should apply the same criteria to determine the suitability of each site as a phone bank location. Try to find the correct number elsewhere later. trade associations. The phone bank coordinator should be present when the phones are being put in to make sure they are installed in the correct space in the office.000 per line in phone-deposit charges. When installing phones for a phone bank. Smile – they can tell. 4. 5. When estimating the cost of installing your own phones. 6. apply the same criteria to locations as you would when setting up the campaign office. Make calls in priority order. Often allied organizations like labor unions. 8. 10. 7. Be sure to check both state and federal law before you accept space or phones as an in-kind contribution. Allow five rings before hanging up. Again. Use a uniform marking system to record call results. If you get a wrong number. 9. Stick to the script. Ask to speak to an adult. Don’t get into prolonged discussions – move on. Top Ten Volunteer Phone Bank Rules: 1. but also more reliably available. It is more expensive. If you can to use pre-existing phones from law offices or friendly businesses. senior centers and veterans’ groups will rent space to you to install these phones. don’t cross the name off. check with the state or federal campaign finance regulations to determine how you accept the in-kind contribution or what reimbursement you need to give the donor. When setting up your phone bank system. you will probably want to separate your phones from the campaign headquarters. 16 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 4 . 3. Your campaign lawyer may want to try to arrange a letter of credit rather than tie up $500 to $2.

Recruit twice as many volunteers as you have phones. The phone bank coordinator is responsible for making sure the phone bank is full (volunteer or paid). Phone banks are people-. The coordinator should schedule two to three shifts a day. and time-intensive. 9. 7. Having the candidate occasionally stopping by to make a few calls can be a big morale booster. Information from the marked sheets can be entered into a computer to generate lists of supporters for GOTV or a list of undecided voters to be mailed or phoned for persuasion. Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 4 17 . 6. As you get started. Keeping everyone’s energy level and morale high is critical. 8. especially among volunteer phoners.Volunteer Phone Bank Kits Phone bank coordinators should prepare a phone bank kit containing the following: 1. Sign-in sheets Multiple copies of the script Instructions Pens and pencils Voter list on paper or computer list on computers Tally sheet Campaign fact sheets Cue cards Volunteer cards Contributor cards Phone banking is not always as easy as it might seem. People should be given frequent breaks and constant encouragement. The phone banks should make the calls in priority order. Give clear instructions as to how to mark the phone lists with calling results The marking system should be placed prominently on the walls in front of each phone. 4. 2. The field director should determine which precincts or which voters are to be called each night. keep the following in mind: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Supervision is critical. The phone bank coordinator or volunteer coordinator should listen to phoners as they make their first few calls. 3. Not everyone is suited for phone calling. money-. 5. 10.

and reminders about Election Day to core constituency voters. Who do we target with direct mail? Undecideds: Voters who we believe are likely to be undecided about who to vote for. Mail can be better targeted than radio or television. The best direct mail is carefully targeted.Direct Mail Over the last 20 years. Although direct mail is expensive. Base voters: Voters who firmly support our cause but who vote less frequently. Soft supporters: Voters who might be supporting our candidate or the opponent. issue-specific mail to undecided voters. your campaign can design and deliver a targeted message to a specific audience. direct mail has evolved into a highly targeted technique used to convey a stealth message. Integrating your campaign’s direct mail plan with your voter contact activities is critical for success. The message being communicated during free media events also needs to be the same as the direct mail message. GOTV. Using polling. and fundraising. so you can communicate with specific demographics or geographic groups without wasting resources on 18 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 4 . but might change their mind in the course of the campaign. the relative cost of direct mail is a more efficient way to communicate with targeted voters. The message used on the phone banks needs to be the same as the direct mail message. In order to make your direct mail effort a success: • • • • The message used for broadcast media needs to be coordinated with the direct mail message. electoral and demographic targeting and a good voter list. as television and radio costs have skyrocketed. It can be used for persuasion. Some examples include mail pieces introducing your candidate to newly-registered voters. and is an effective tool for delivering a candidate’s message directly to voters. Advantages of Direct Mail Direct mail has three distinct advantages over other forms of voter contact: Direct mail can be extremely well targeted.

Mail is not always read by the voters and 35 to 45 percent of recipients read only the headlines and the sub-headlines. Mail is an effective way to deliver negative messages.unregistered or low-frequency voters. Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 4 19 . Mail is a good medium to get out a negative message that you do not want on television or to a broader audience. mail needs to be one part of an integrated campaign so that it is constantly reinforcing the message while asking voters for their support. And using outside sources such as newspapers. non-partisan advocacy groups and community leaders will make your charges more credible. Therefore. Comparative mention of the opponent This type of mail educates voters about the differences between opposing candidates. Furthermore. look at the visuals and read at least some of the content. It is important that your charges are accurage and believable. Direct mail can be used to send repetitive contacts to the same audience Several pieces of mail can be sent to targeted audiences. so that a voter can consume your message within 10 to 15 seconds. It requires voters to pick up a piece. Direct mail can be read by the wrong people. Examples include sending a pro-choice message to persuadable unmarried women or sending Social Security pieces to seniors. Disadvantages of Direct Mail: Direct mail is sometimes ignored. Mail is a far more active medium than television. to reinforce the message. it is very unlikely that the 15 to 20 percent of the voters who read literature cover to cover contain all of your target voters. That is why the essential message must be carried in your visuals and headlines. Types of Direct Mail Positive This is often used when the candidate is not well-known or is running for office for the first time. Use footnotes and litations to validate your claims. Side-by-side comparisons are often used. It is usually the first piece of mail and should be positive in nature.

These pieces generally do not mention the candidate we’re supporting. beliefs and values — or simply to pique their curiosity. Fundraising These mail pieces should request money and specifically state what it is to be used for. It is important that your mail be well-designed. full-color corporate and commercial mail. 20 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 4 . Third party mail Third party mail is sent by allied organizations such as labor unions. campaigns should retain professional help in putting together a direct mail program. Check with the post office to understand what is required to get reduced-rate bulk mail permits.Negative This type of mail educates voters about the short comings of any opponent. concentrate on enticing the reader to open up the mail piece. etc. GOTV This should remind supporters and low-frequency base voters to vote. PTA. Modern political direct mail is in competition with slick. glossy. business groups. Mail Design When deciding on mail designs. one of the benefits of direct mail is that it can be used to deliver your message when you cannot afford to reach voters with electronic media or when you need to reinforce the message shown on TV. either in the form of the cause or a specific program. Keep in mind when sending a letter from the candidate or a surrogate that one of the most often-read parts is the postscript. The most important challenge is creating a cover tat will draw the reader in. it is cost-efficient. Again. It is often personalized to inform the voter of their specific polling place or to provide them with a phone number to call for more information or a ride to the polls. Wherever feasible. Also check restrictions on size and weight. Direct Mail Costs Although direct mail is expensive. capture the reader’s attention and engage him or her with photos and headlines that speak to their concerns.

However. Once you have established any supporting or endorsing organizations that are able to send mail on your behalf. to fundraise. to persuade voters. You want them to keep coming back so you can reach your goals. and to GOTV. so make sure they are well prepared and have a positive experience.Remember. and thank them for their time. If you decide to use a volunteer canvass. Canvassing Kit includes: • Script • Map • Voter List • Pen/Pencil • Campaign Literature • Water • Sack Lunch Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 4 21 . state and Party committees can also send out mail at a reduced rate. Door-to-Door Canvassing Door-to-door canvassing is a highly-targeted technique that is extremely effective—voters can really identify with a campaign if their neighbors or other individuals are on their doorsteps describing the candidate or issue directly to them. It is important to remember that any canvassing program should work in conjunction with all other voter contact programs so that messages being delivered on the phones are the same as those being delivered at the doors to the targeted voters. and remember details. it is also very effective when used early in the campaign to help with issue identification. it is important to build enough time into your program. feed them. Goals aren’t reached overnight in a canvass program. candidate identification. make sure they are safe. Canvassing is labor-intensive if done on a volunteer basis. determine their limits as to what they can do. they are met over a sustained period of time. The key is to have a clear goal. Train them. and costly if paid. Check with the state Party or relevant party committee to determine how they can include your campaign in their mail program. be organized. it is important to take care of the volunteers. to register voters. Therefore.

Be aware that it is illegal for campaign literature to be placed in mailboxes. written instructions. and “Q cards. Although any type of literature can be left at homes during a lit drop. detailed reporting. literature left at the door is less likely to be read than anything sent through the mail. Literature Distribution Literature distribution is the most basic form of campaigning and entails placing literature in a secure area on the doors of houses in the area or precinct you want to cover. a “trouble number” to call if there is a problem.Make sure there is a reporting system that is easy to understand for the canvassers as well as the staff/volunteers who are going to key the information into the data management system. volunteer cards. high traffic mass transit stops. because you have little control over who is taking your literature or where these voters live. how many supporters have been identified and how many undecided voters need to be contacted again. Volunteers should be given training and the materials they will need. shopping centers or college campuses. Canvassing operations require detailed plans. Leafleting Leafleting is similar to literature distribution. Leafleting is less targeted than lit drops. including a campaign button or sticker. in case they happen to talk to voters. a map and directions to the area where the literature is to be distributed. and follow up. 22 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 4 . Because lit drops are done by volunteers. A reporting system will also make it easier to keep track of how many contacts have been made. Create a system to collect unused literature get and reports on areas completed. they are time-intensive but do not cost a lot of money.” One way to target literature distribution is by concentrating on persuadable precincts or by leaving literature only at the homes of registered or target voters. except the literature is distributed at public places like work places. It is not necessary for volunteers to knock on the doors or talk to voters during a “lit drop. Literature blowing around the neighborhood is a wasted resource and a potential nuisance to perspective voters.” or forms to put down requests for information.

e-Precinct Leaders for. Test your volunteer operation by having them do event notification calls but give them Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 4 23 . so they can talk to each other more directly to organize fundraisers. volunteer recruitment. it is important to remember that it must be backed up by other organizing tactics. grassroots fundraising.Volunteers doing this still need the basic materials. or they can be less so if open to the community. but does not take a lot of time or money. You might encourage a group to have its own listserv. event turnout. and they can receive messages specific to their constituencies from your campaign which will help you to develop the base vote and other constituency groups. Students for. and they should be created not only to communicate with specific voters on key issues such as education. but little training. the budget or the environment. This is the opportunity to hand out simple one-page leaflets with the goal of building a crowd for an event. However. leafleting is volunteer-intensive and definitely low-impact. or recruit volunteers. An auto call from the candidate to a targeted universe is a great way to crowd build. but also to build an organization or motivate people to vote. Internet organizing allows you to build communities online. Events An event is the only time a candidate will have a direct communication with voters who are in an audience. …can all have a specific places to go on your website. Therefore. Often field organizers see events as something that is imposed on them when they are trying to identify voters or turn people out to vote. You should assume that anything put out on the Internet is in the public domain. This is highly beneficial for e-precincts. events are highly targeted if done by invitation. Labor for. distribute talking points. Internet Organizing While Internet organizing has increased a campaign’s ability to reach a large number of activists and voters. Latinos for. health care. Do not hand out expensive or lengthy literature because it is unlikely it will be read or taken home. so make sure your targeted voters or core constituents are the ones you invite. for example. events are opportunities for the field operation. Women for. Sportsmen for. and GOTV. You need to invite people. Lastly. Or postcards with handwritten notes from volunteers is another way. This method can be either highly targeted or not and is usually relatively inexpensive.

registering voters and making sure that all of the information gets back into your database. At every event there should be a team of people collecting volunteer information. 24 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 4 .specific goals as to how many committed attendees you need.

for example. Detail the activities… include a timeline: Time/date/location of activities. At a minimum. 7. the dynamics of the race. time. Always. 2. including how to reach voters. Ideally. A plan is always a working document. 6. 5. to 52 percent of the vote. it should be written so that if. Share the document with your staff – it is not a state secret. and money – in mind when writing your plan. Keep it simple Be creative/think outside the box. always TRAIN volunteers and staff. Hold your organization accountable. Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 5 25 . TIPS ON WRITING A PLAN 1. the document should cover the political landscape of the area. your field director decided to move to Morocco during the campaign. Measure the success of your plan with specific goals. and for planning purposes. 8. 4.CHAPTER FIVE The Field Plan The field plan is the comprehensive document which describes everything that needs happen in the field during the campaign in order for you to get to fifty plus one. always. Keep your resources – people. Be flexible. anyone could pick up where he or she left off and the field operation would continue seamlessly. 3. and the goals of the voter contact plan.

students groups. etc. A good place to start is with the previous campaign manager or other friendly campaigns — what are they doing and how are their relationships with the community? You also need to get in touch with the organized allies that support you (labor. and what kinds of activities the campaign and the group could do together for mutual benefit. and the technology available to streamline and simplify your job. volunteers and allied organizations) you can count on to help with the campaign. Equally important are the number of people (staff. teachers. Hispanic and Native American communities). you need to carefully and critically analyze the resources – people. Separate your field plan into the following sections: Overview and Campaign Dynamics Targeting Vote goals Universes Data management Staffing Organization Outreach Accountability Training 26 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 5 . although that is certainly a crucial element. local clubs. This does not just mean cash. Once you have contracted these groups. and environmentalists) and your core constituency activists and leaders (in the African-American. everyone you talk to you should ask what the campaign needs to do to win the support of their group. Talk To As Many People As You Can The key to understanding your voters is to cast a wide and diverse net in the area and to listen to what people have to say. Asian-American. the next level of potential friends of your campaign . time and money at your disposal.Learn!! Now that you have determined what your goals are for your field program.women’s organizations. the amount of time you have to execute your plan.Before You Write a Field Plan .

Voter contact/Programming Voter ID Persuasion Early voting/Vote by Mail GOTV Timeline/calendar Budget

Understand the Dynamics of the Race and the Campaign
For the field plan to be most effective, it must be fully integrated with the rest of the campaign. Therefore, your field operation and the rest of the campaign need to decide from the start where voter contact stands in relation to the overall campaign plan, including earned media, candidate travel, event organization, etc. Some questions to consider: • What is the role of your field staff? Do you need to increase your candidate name identification? How much time will the field team spend persuading undecided voters? How massive does your Get Out The Vote (GOTV) operation need to be? How much of the budget will the field operation have to work with? Will there be paid phone bankers and mail? What about office space and needs? How much is available for GOTV workers and needs? Know the voting process/laws: can people vote by mail (VBM) or absentee? What are the rules? Can people vote early at the courthouse, city hall, etc.? What are the deadlines for registration in the primary? In the general? Are these laws conducive to increased participation? Are there legislative opportunities to change these laws? EXAMINE THE BALLOTS BEFORE THEY ARE PRINTED.

• • •

Know the Numbers
While you won’t have a good grasp on your state or district until you have actually put people in the field, to craft a winning field strategy it is important to understand the voting patterns and voting history of your future constituents. This hard data will save you time, energy and resources, and will help you to set your targets. You need to determine a vote goal. In order to do this, you will need to make a few determinations.

Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 5


The first thing to do is gather previous precinct-level election data that tells you the turnout as well as the percentage of people who voted Democratic. You can find this information by contacting your local elections board or by using your NCEC data. NCEC data is precinct-level demographic information provided by the National Committee for an Effective Congress ( NCEC compiles election history by county and makes calculations about the expected voter turnout at the precinct level. Next, get to know who your voters really are. Are they a diverse group? Where do most of them live? Where do they work, and what types of jobs do they have? Are they working-class, middle-class or upper-income? To what sorts of organizations do they belong? These questions will help you to answer your next question, which is about your base. Who are your core constituents in this state or district? How many votes can you count on from within this core constituency, and can you pick them out of a voter file? (This will save you valuable effort—there’s no point in preaching to the converted, especially if the converted are already planning on voting on Election Day.) Next, figure out what you’re up against—how many people do you predict are going to show up and vote? And who are they? From this number, calculate a liberal “needed to win” vote count—52 percent of the turnout. Now, take the number of votes you need to win and subtract the base that you’re counting on. That’s the number of people you need to identify and/or persuade. Ignoring Republicans, these are your target voters.

Data Management
Data management can be done in-house, or it can be contracted out. In order to decide who will manage your data you should consider whether you have someone who has both the time and the knowledge to handle such a project and whether or not you have the technology. If you don’t have the right resources in-house, it may make sense to pay for it. For more information, refer to Chapter Four, Managing Your Data.


Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 5

Assess Organizational Capacity
The grassroots organization you build to support the campaign will be organized around a diverse set of factions. In order to determine who these people will be, look at who your candidate brings with him or her. Does she/he have a core group of activists? Who does she/he work with? Will his or her family participate in the campaign? At what level? The next level of participation to consider is the Party structure. Will your candidate be supported by the Party? If so, at what level does the party fit into your campaign? What about the organization that you will construct yourself? What kind of organization will this be? Should it be precinct-based, neighborhood-based or county-based?

Some places to consider looking as you begin to build your grassroots organization: • • • • • Activists who have supported your candidate in the past. People with whom your candidate works. The candidate’s family. The candidate’s friends. The local and/or state Party.

Understand the Tactics at Your Disposal
As described in Chapter Four, the following are tactics that you will need to include in your field plan that are either high impact or low impact: High Impact Voter Contact Tactics: Phones Direct mail Canvass/door-to-door Candidate events and rallies Radio Internet organizing

Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 5


buttons. decide what kind of organization you want to build considering your people. Will you group by precinct or by district? What level of people power will be available to you in each group? What can you ask of each group? Is it reasonable to expect an organization in every section of your district? 30 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 5 . In a campaign where you could run the field operation of your dreams you might have the following staff: Field director Core constituency vote director Voter file manager Early Vote/Vote-by-Mail director Regional field director Volunteer coordinator Field organizers Phone bank coordinators Precinct workers GOTV workers To run smoothly. responsibilities. prepare and distribute document that covers the following for each of the positions listed above: start date. Therefore. or a combination of factors. and geographic area of concern (in the case of regional directors and field organizers). time. the field staff needs to understand their role and the roles of the people with whom they will be working. and money resources. the role of field in your campaign. bumper stickers Literature Drops Leafleting Staff The number of field staff you hire may depend on how much money you have. Constituency Organization After considering your demographics.Low Impact Voter Contact Tactics: Surrogate Events Visibility (lawn signs. how many (in the case of field organizers and GOTV workers).

Canvass the senior center at least once one to two months prior to Election Day 2. Consider the following questions when developing an outreach plan: • • • • • What core constituencies will you specifically reach out to? What other constituencies will you reach out to? How will you draw them into the campaign? How will you organize your core constituencies? How will you fit them into your organization? Core constituencies and other constituencies must be organized in the same way you organize the rest of your staff and the people of your district—in a concrete. Arrange rides to polls. Example (seniors): We will identify senior citizen center captain wherever possible. 3. so you need to decide how your campaign will contact voters in each specific universe effectively while staying within the campaign’s budget. Each constituency should develop a written plan to be integrated into the whole plan. This means that you must target who will be contacted and what you expect from each subsequent contact. Volunteer postcard campaigns to identify the core constituency group of supporters. They will: 1. Talk to undecided voters in the center. Successful campaigns contact their universe of voters 10 to 16 times during the course of an election. numbers-driven manner. and each should have a clear goal.Outreach Working with constituencies means each constituency must have input into the part of the plan that affects its constituency. This means that you should not allow yourself any overlapping organizations. Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 5 31 . 4.

Regular trainings help the staff to keep ideas fresh in their minds and help re-boost morale. A sample nightly tally sheet for a phone bank might ask some of the following questions: • • • • • • What geographic area were you calling? How many volunteers did you have? How many calls were completed? (Calls where the voter was not home or no one answered are not considered completed.Training of Staff To ensure that your staff is always ready for the next step of the campaign. (Obviously the questions would be somewhat different for persuasion calls or GOTV calls. schedule regular trainings. Staff Accountability With all of the complex facets of a campaign. The next should be held before massive phone banking and door-to-door operations begin. uniform reporting by your field organizers. similar questions should be asked of those involved in any other type of voter contact. The best way to do this is to build the accountability of all of your staff into your plan from the start.) How many IDed for your candidate? How many IDed for your opponent? How many IDed as undecided? The field plan should detail exactly where the program stands in terms of hard numbers every day. Below is an example of information that is required of people running a voter identification phone bank. 32 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 5 . it is essential to account for the actions of all of your ground troops. Conduct at least one training at the start of the campaign. and finally there should be a comprehensive training before GOTV. you’ll be able to access exactly what has been done at a glance.) In addition. By requiring nightly.

voter contact program dates.222 undecided 11. Make sure you incorporate the candidate’s personal dates for family time and vacations so that nothing requiring his or her time is scheduled then. Start with natural deadlines such as Election Day. fundraising events and free media dates. Next.222 for opponent 222 Precinct Captains recruited 122 Election Day volunteers recruited Goal 25. Below is an example on identification: To date 14.212 432 250 Timeline The timeline should be as detailed as possible and be considered a living and breathing document that will constantly to be updated as the campaign progresses. radio and newspapers. the deadline to register to vote. you should include dates to hire staff. Include dates of media buys for television. holidays and reporting deadlines because they are fixed on the calendar. the Field Director should put out nightly reports on progress toward goals. Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 5 33 . sample ballots mailed.422 for us 22. when ballots are mailed for Vote-by-Mail and Absentee voting. Distribute the field plan to the field staff on the campaign so that everyone is working with the same assumptions. early voting dates.Additionally.

• Use excruciatingly accurate projections. • Put your budget on a cash flow spreadsheet… how much are you going to spend and when. 34 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 5 . • Be liberal in your estimates… it is better to over-budget than under-budget.Budget Make sure you: • Detail every aspect of what you will be paying for in your field operation.

All of these are strategic goals that will further your voter contact plan. sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. You want to energize your core constituencies with a specific plan early in the campaign. So much goes into a voter registration drive. You want to have an early test of your organizational structure (paid staff and volunteer organization). The best thing to do is to put a plan of action down on paper. First developing a written plan for your voter registration drive.CHAPTER SIX Voter Registration There are several strategic reasons to conduct a voter registration drive: • • • You need a larger pool of base voters to reach your vote goal. How to Plan a Voter Registration Drive • Set goals o What are your goals? How many Democrats do you need to register? o What are your targeted precincts or areas? o Why are these your targets precincts? • Know the rules o o o What are your state’s rules? What is your state’s deadline for voter registration? Is there an opportunity for same-day registration to be combined with GOTV? o Where are your local election board and registrar’s offices? Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 6 35 . You’ve got to answer some tough questions to begin your planning. It will be the blueprint for your entire effort.

The key is to get the plan on paper now. You can always alter it later. 36 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 6 .• Determine methods and tasks o o o o o How can you coordinate with allied registration drives? What organizations should you contact? Who should be on your steering committee? How will you coordinate with your state’s Coordinated Campaign? How will you coordinate with core constituencies? • Organize your drive o o o o o How many volunteers will you need to reach your goals? How many paid staff will you need to reach your goals? Who will you recruit to be volunteers? Who will coordinate work and door-to-door canvassing? How will you keep track of the progress? • Budget the costs o o o What is your budget? Where will the money come from? When do you need the money? • Establish a timeline and measurable goals o o o o What is your timeline or calendar? When and where will your drive take place? How long will your drive last? How many new and re-registrants do you need every week to meet your goals? • Legal o o o What is the system for verification? How many voters have been purged from the rolls for Election Day? Can you print registration forms? • Follow-up o o How will you follow up with newly-registered voters? How will you put new and re-registrants into the GOTV pool? Get detailed in your plan. The more details you can think of at this stage. the fewer surprises you’ll have later.

• Be specific about what resources will be needed. • Include accountability and reporting. That’s the key to winning and will give you an idea as to the goal of your voter registration campaign. and what each of them will be doing. etc. plenty of volunteers and run a very good campaign. petitions. • Determine how many volunteers are needed.How many Democrats Do You Need to Register? Once you’ve established a realistic vote goal (the number of base and persuadable voters you need to win). Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 6 37 . As you develop your registration goal. Make your goals reasonable. registering 25 percent of those unregistered would be fantastic. remember: you’re not going to register 100 percent of the unregistered people in your target area. You’re not going to be able to register everyone. and when (voter registration forms. Take a look at your target areas and your resources. Then plan backwards from the last day of registration—the deadline. Make sure your registration goals are realistic. How many unregistered voters are there? How much time do you have? How many volunteers are you likely to have? How much money can you count on? The driving factor in setting your registraton goals is to find the votes needed to put your candidate over the top on Election Day. sign-up sheets. If you have enough money.). When Should You Run a Registration Drive? A good plan will: • Have dates for when activities start and stop. The day after the deadline is when your drive is completed and you turn over the fruits of your labor to the campaign’s GOTV effort or the Coordinated committee. Keep a close eye on the calendar—especially on your registration deadlines. you’ve got to calculate how many new Democratic voters you’ve got to register to get your candidate to 50 percent plus one. supplies.

training and publicity time for each of these tasks. D-minus-90 days Steering Committee formed. determine the number of volunteers and paid staff you’ll need to complete each job. Then you can work the next set of calendars—the ones that guide your volunteers. D-minus-55 days Materials prepared (walking kits for volunteers. D-minus-45 days Registration drive kickoff event. the first day of school. Remember to build in planning. press kits). On-site registration begins. many more items should be added to your timeline. D-minus-48 days Publicity materials distributed (posters. Obviously. going door-todoor.Here’s a sample of the basic elements of your timeline: Deadline All registrations must be submitted to Board of Elections BEFORE close of day. Then itemize the tasks that need to be done—setting up tables. D-minus-50 days Volunteers/staff recruited. days that unemployment and welfare checks are distributed. The Master Schedule After you’ve checked your state and local laws and determined how long you have until the registration deadline. D-minus-40 days Compile lists of new registrants and forward to GOTV effort. materials and activities involved in the campaign. Defining staff roles and their responsibilities will hold everyone accountable to the timeline and their duties on the campaign. 38 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 6 . flyers. you should develop this timeline. meetings. develop a master calendar that includes all the dates of events at which you can register voters during that time—like rallies. Finally. Request or print registration forms. D-minus-150 days Contact and form coalitions. volunteers. and candidate events. D-minus-60 days Targeting completed. Door-to-door drive begins. publicity materials). When? Clear distinctions between members of your organization will help you to ensure that everyone knows his or her distinct purpose. recruiting. but it’s a good place to start. assigned and trained. As registration coordinator. This specific timing is not set in stone. Who Does What. including all the dates and deadlines. setting up and operating phone banks—and put them on your calendar.

A volunteer coordinator is absolutely crucial to the success of your campaign. Project Vote. etc. training. in charge of getting and distributing the posters. Be sure the volunteer coordinator is one of the most organized and conscientious people available. A fundraising coordinator is the person who provides the money to do the kind of registration you have planned.Your Organization • To be sure that everything gets done. office space. The transportation coordinator makes sure the volunteers get to the right places and have a way to get back. The job includes working with the Coordinated Campaign. The registration campaign coordinator is in charge of the overall voter registration campaign for the area—heading up the planning and evaluation components. meeting space. registration forms and other handouts your volunteers will use. You might also have a publicity/materials coordinator. This will be your steering committee. supervising all staff and providing direction for the entire campaign. the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and labor unions that run effective on voter registration drives. scheduling and reporting. the state Party. and collects and reviews their report forms. copying. • • • • • • Organizing a Non-Partisan Registration Drive with Non-Profit Groups There are many non-profit and membership organizations. gets the walk lists and maps to the volunteers. such as Operation Big Vote. The door-to-door coordinator organizes the canvass. available to take people to registration sites. This person is also in charge of putting together press kits and releases for the media. leaflets. phones. They must be people you can depend on and who will be accountable to you. and interested individuals or groups to raise the money (where the law allows). The fundraising coordinator is also the pointperson in charge of lining up in-kind contributions such as staff. Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 6 39 . the Southwest and Midwest Voter Registration and Education Projects. This person is in charge of volunteer recruiting. There should also be a platoon of transportation volunteers working at this person’s direction. you’ll need to assign responsibility to a few key coordinators in your campaign.

or 6). So you can work with them if they are part of a larger coalition of groups that is not partisan. such as social welfare organizations. however. and for your headquarters if you wish. Membership organizations with the tax status of 501(c)(4. low-turnout. 501(c)(3) organizations have limits to what they can and cannot do when it comes to politics. However. However. The coalition must be neutral and non-partisan when it comes to where it chooses to target its registration efforts. labor unions and professional or trade associations can take part in your partisan voter registration drive. Any non-profit group with the tax status of 501(c)(3). women. The tax status of the non-profit you want to work with determines that. is strictly prohibited from engaging in partisan political activity. that also means that their donations to your drive would be against the law. targeting of low-income. These groups are legally bound to keep their political activity secondary to their organization’s functions. any educational. Organizing a Partisan Registration Drive Coalition Other non-profit organizations have more leeway when it comes to their political activity. They may be able to run their own drive. religious or charitable organization. What’s a 501(c)(3)? Named after the section in the Internal Revenue Service code. Registration drives based on party affiliation or past voting preferences are not allowed. minority.Caution: Non-Profits Have Legal Constraints Working with non-profits can be a big help in your effort. That means they cannot work on Democratic voter registration drives. you must know what they can and cannot do under federal election law. 501(c)(3) groups can work with and be involved in a non-partisan drive. raise money from them.5. They can also receive funds designated for non-partisan voter registration purposes. You can communicate with their members. and work with you in larger non-partisan events. and use their facilities for phone banks. Their efforts are limited to informing the public on the importance of voting. Funding: Since 501(c)(3) organizations cannot engage in partisan activities. But these groups can contribute to a non-partisan coalition if it is engaging in non-partisan voter registration. homeless or student populations is acceptable. that is. 40 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 6 .

but are not limited to: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Neighborhood organizations Fundraising groups Women’s organizations Minority or ethnic organizations Trade organizations Environmental organizations Young/College Democrats Democratic Party activists Labor unions Peace groups Senior citizen organizations Tenant organizations Pro-choice groups Civic organizations Be inclusive. Keep them informed of your drive’s plans and progress. It is important to have the support of leaders of these groups from the start. And more importantly. 6. 5. here’s how you should get them involved: 1. 2. Place follow-up telephone calls. Steps to Putting Together Your Coalition Once you’ve identified all possible coalition members. Working With Constituency Groups To build the broadest possible Democratic voter registration drive. Mail invitations asking them to join.Funding: 501(c)(4. Develop the plan. Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 6 41 . 3. make sure you include representatives of traditional base Democratic constituency groups. Formally invite groups and people to participate. Have others call them to extend formal invitations. you will not be seen as a threat. These groups include. 4. or 6) non-profits can contribute to your drive if these groups have established political action committees.5. Contributions from their PACs can fund a partisan effort. they will be less apprehensive when you seek their support or ask them to help recruit volunteers. Ask people who are friends and associates to call them. When they see that you are organized and on top of things.

Ask them for: • Advice on community outreach strategies. • Help in the fundraising effort. demographics and cultural indicators. chances are that a majority of the unregistered voters living there will be Democratic. so choose a higher turnout precinct over a low turnout precinct. And you must know what issues concern them. Without their help and endorsement. monitor and adjust together. your drive will miss valuable opportunities. Also.7. you know you need more voters. you will need your NCEC data again. If that rating is from 65.0 to 100. Selecting Your Target Areas Since you have already calculated the votes necessary to win. Acknowledge their leadership. Implement. work. They deserve to be treated with the respect they’ve earned. The leaders of the groups you contact have worked for many years in their respective communities. If a precinct has a chronically low turnout figure. and shop. Who Are The Unregistered Democrats and Where Are They? Since the purpose of your drive is to register Democrats. Make sure that issue favors the Democrats. you might consider a precinct where there is a hot button issue affecting the lives of its residents. Other factors to consider are the precinct’s history. • Assistance in recruiting volunteers. • Direction on specific issues important to the community. geography. To determine specific precincts. The higher the rating. The key number to look at is the “Democratic performance rating. • Suggestions for good voter registration locations.” Democratic performance is the percent of Democrats in an area. 42 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 6 . you need to find out where potential Democratic voters live. Turnout is a major factor. the more true that is likely to be. people you register in that precinct are statistically inclined not to turn out on Election Day. Democratic performance is not the only factor to consider when selecting your targets.

You need to find out who is registered—and who is not—in the precincts you’ve targeted. The registered voters are then purged from the larger list. Creating a walk list of unregistered people can be an expensive proposition — make sure you coordinate with the state or local Party officials and other Democratic campaigns to avoid duplication of efforts and costs. the voter file for that area will have to be cross-referenced against another file. Your state and local parties have access to current voter files with street-by-street listings of who’s registered. To find out who’s not registered in a particular target area. you can also do “saturation canvassing”—visiting every home in your targeted precincts. Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 6 43 . leaving only the unregistered individuals. This is the list you will divide up among your volunteers in the door-to-door component of your campaign. The list is then sorted by street into a walk list. county or district. Using a Voter File A voter file is a computerized list of all the registered voters in a particular state.But remember. Work with allies so they match their own membership lists against voter registration lists and ensure their members are registered and motivated to vote. Use the file of registered voters from the state or local Party as your walk list and have your volunteer canvassers visit only the homes of those not on the voter file list. Only target precincts with a strong Democratic performance rating. such a drivers’ license database or a commercially available list of all residents of voting age. If your drive is cash-poor and volunteer-rich. we want to register Democrats. There are shortcuts you can take if your drive can’t afford to create an unregistered resident file.

44 .

only to have the result reversed a few days later as a result of mail ballots – the most dramatic example being the 2000 Presidential election. Alternative Voting Gives Democrats and Campaigns Some Advantages • It allows a campaign to put votes in the bank. Some states use these laws to give voters and potential voters more flexibility and greater opportunities to cast a ballot. in some cases. Third. it reduces barriers to voting and gives low turnout populations more opportunities to vote. These new laws have fundamentally changed the way campaigns are executed. In other words. Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 7 45 . Vote-by-Mail (VBM)/absentee voting. Second. It is now commonplace for candidates to win or lose on Election Night.CHAPTER SEVEN Alternative Methods of Voting There are three types of Alternative Voting Laws – early voting. messages. a vote cast early is a vote that won’t be swayed by late-breaking negative ads or information from opponents. it allows you to remove people who have already voted from your GOTV and/or persuasion lists to increase efficiency. and same day registration. • • Finally. it allows for more highly-targeted voter contact and.

both at the voter contact level and at the paid media level. etc. • • The following will highlight the ways in which your campaign can use an alternative voting campaign to your advantage while avoiding the potential downsides. days of the week.) When they can vote (30 days to a few days before Election Day) Look for opportunities to influence polling (satellite) locations. hours. sometimes turning Election Day into Election Month. as in Oregon. from sending everyone a mail ballot. as in Michigan. Republicans can usually run more intensive. Though laws vary. to limiting mail ballots only to seniors who request them. people planning to be out of town on Election Day. It also moves up the timeline by which you need to be ready to contact voters. Early Vote Early vote allows voters to cast their ballots in person at a designated polling place within a designated number of days before the election.But alternative voting also brings some disadvantages: • It greatly expands the voting season. etc. Vote by mail (VBM) VBM laws have the widest variance among the states. 46 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 7 . many of these alternative voting methods result in more volunteer demands and increased expenses for your campaign. extensive vote-by-mail or early vote campaigns. Second. and to make sure polls are fair. satellite polling places. seniors. early vote laws are defined and limited by: • • • Who can vote (anyone. Finally. because they often have more money.) Where they can vote (City Hall or County Courthouse.

etc. beginning in 2002. close relative.) How you can vote by mail (by ballot request only. In Michigan.) When you can vote (how soon can you request a ballot.) • Some examples of various VBM laws around the country: • • Oregon has held 100% VBM elections. In California. anyone can become a permanent mail voter without needing to ever request a ballot again. anyone can vote by mail upon request and. all. registrar. seniors or people with disabilities only. automatically receive mail ballot.Vote-By-Mail and Absentee laws are defined and limited by: • • • Who can vote by mail (anyone who wants. how soon can you return a ballot? What is the latest you can request/return a ballot?) Who can return or handle your ballot (only you. etc. only voters over 60 or with a disability can request a mail ballot. spouse. Below is a chart explaining how to make Vote-by-Mail work for your campaign • Courtesy of Burnside and Associates Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 7 47 . etc.

Voter Does Not Vote by Mail Courtesy of Burnside and Associates 48 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 7 .

Use your voter file to find mail voters.) Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 7 49 . Targeting For Alternative Voting The key to effectively using the alternative voting laws to your advantage is to identify who is eligible for alternative voting. Ask important questions like: Who has voted by mail before? Who has voted early before? Who has used same day registration before? (Increasing evidence from many states shows that. using all the tools at your disposal – voter file. for example). like all voting behavior.” it really means “any resident can vote without registering. Use your precinct targeting to look at low turnout precincts for early voting/same day registration targets. there are some basic strategic approaches to running an effective alternative voting program common to all campaigns including targeting turnout and persuasion. precinct targeting. Although it’s called “same day registration. Approach targeting the same as you would for the overall campaign. if motivated. Even states that have not are allowing voters to register closer to Election Day (California. but a growing number of states are adopting same day registration laws. Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura’s victory in 1998 is often credited to Minnesota’s same day registration law.Same Day Registration Same day registration laws are less common than early vote or VBM laws.” essentially turning a campaign’s universe of potential targets from a concrete group of voters with a discrete voter history into a huge universe of eligible adults where weak vote history and lack of prior registration are not barriers to voting on Election Day. even polling. people who vote in one particular way are likely to do so again. Effective Strategy and Tactics for Alternative Voting Programs Though state laws vary.

A campaign could also run a direct mail and phone program to suburban women with weak Election Day turnout history. In early vote states. Voter lists can be checked and rechecked until target voters return their ballot. Working with churches. 50 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 7 . campaigns can make efforts to publicize early voting opportunities to increase early voting in low turnout. Once a ballot is requested. in the case of a VBM state. A common problem among some campaigns is not being able to determine whether a VBM or early vote program is about increasing turnout or persuading those who are already voting. Once a voter has returned his or her ballot. and even at the door – to encourage them to REQUEST an VBM ballot. and others to hold “Vote Rallies. community organizations. encouraging them to vote on the weekend at a nearby. high Democratic performance areas. in the mail. A more expensive – but potentially winning – strategy is to increase Democratic turnout through an aggressive early vote/VBM program. Turning Out Voters Who Use Alternative Voting Techniques As we mentioned early on in this manual. the campaign must assume the task of making sure the voter returns the ballot. so too will an effective alternative voting program. Alternative Voting Laws give Democrats new opportunities to put those votes in the bank. identified polling place.Are you targeting for persuasion? Or turnout? Just as an overall voter contact plan will have a persuasion program that is very different than its turnout program.” “Vote Drives. he or shecan be removed from the list and the pool of turnout targets can be further narrowed. This requires identifying Democrats with weak vote histories and reaching them early – through the phone. turnout targets are people you know will vote for you as long as they remember to vote.” and other various events can spur increased turnout.

This is time-and volunteerintensive. First. before they vote. but rather influence. and anonymous fliers that tend to come at the end of an election. elections. you need to determine which persuadable voters have a history of voting early or by mail and make sure your voter contact plan — and budget — incorporates early direct mail. They are likely already voting by mail – you just need to reach them with your message. and other communications with these voters. Getting these voters in the bank before Election Day is crucial because voters tend to be very susceptible to the negative advertising. An intensive program will track voters who have returned their ballots and remove them from future voter contact programs. but can be important in very close. persuasion phone calls. preferably several times. Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 7 51 . hit pieces.Persuasion Persuasion targets are people you do not necessarily need to turn out. particularly local.

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the following are basic guidelines when referring to organizing your base areas: • Base Vote: Precincts with voters with 65% democratic performance or higher over the last three election cycles.g. Greek-American voters. it is important to have specific terms when referencing communities by geography and demographics.. but are not limited to: African-American Latino Labor union Pro-choice Other constituencies include. Core constituencies include. Traditionally.CHAPTER EIGHT Organizing Your Base The Democratic Party has won a number of key recent elections based on the strength of support and turnout among key constituent communities. However. but are not limited to: Asian and Pacific Islander American American Indian Environmentalist White Ethnic (e. etc) GLBT Religious Senior Student Veteran Physically challenged Women Youth Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 8 53 • • . as election margins have become narrower. Although these differ from state to state. these communities have been referred to as the “base vote” because they form the “base” or foundation of the Democratic Party. for the same type of election. Irish-American.

your goal is to determine how many votes you can count on from these constituencies and make sure the constituencies have responsibility for a specific goals-based program that is part of the larger field program. Developing a Constituency Vote Program A successful constituency vote program will include the following key elements: • • • • • • Targeting Community outreach and relationship building Message and messenger development Specialty press and earned media communications Voter contact and GOTV Budget and timeline Targeting The first and most crucial step in creating a constituency program is the targeting. how many core constituent voters do you need to get to fifty plus one? To do this. How can base voter turnout be increased to make up for a deficiency in persuadable voters? A voter registration program may be necessary to find more Democratic base votes. and Democrats who vote sporadically. you’ll need to calculate how many you need to turn out for you. keep in mind the number of votes you determined you need to win based on predicted turnout and the number of votes you determined you can expect from persuadable voters. determine where your core constituent voters are and how to reach them. For core constituent targeting you should focus on voters who always vote and should be naturally inclined to vote Democratic. In other words. 54 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 8 .From a campaign perspective. Once you’ve identified where your constituent voters are and how you’ll reach them. Using voter file technology and census data.

If they have membership lists and they’re willing to share them with you. or Caucuses—These may be an effective vehicle for bringing together a broad range of leaders and organizers from a particular constituency. Message and Messenger Development Now that you’ve identified your core constituent voters and begun to build a strong relationship with that community. Elected Officials with Community Interest—These leaders can help do two things: engage a core constituency in the Party or a campaign and help bring the Democratic Party or campaign into a community. He or she might also be willing to act as a surrogate in his or her community for your candidate. Here are some of the ways you can reach out and begin to build your relationships with your base community: Community leadership—Well-recognized leaders have a sphere of influence with grassroots activists and organizers. as the case may be). Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 8 55 . Talking to community leaders is good for spreading informational by word-of-mouth. such lists can be effective for disseminating message.Core Constituency Community Outreach and Relationship Building Once you’ve identified your core constituency communities begin to reach out to them and build the relationships that will allow you to turn them out effectively on Election Day (or for mail voting or early voting. If a candidate or Party officer cannot attend. but you’ll need a more effective way to reach more people more quickly and more efficiently. This empowers them to be involved and gives them a vehicle for participating in the campaign. and for voter contact and GOTV. Building relationships and a good rapport with these (perceived or self-declared) leaders opens doors. Steering Committees. building a volunteer base. a surrogate can speak and volunteer activists can distribute material. Working Groups. fundraising. Community-based/national constituency organizations—Talking to the leaders of organizations in your community whose members may be inclined to vote Democratic is a good way to connect with more constituent voters. you’re going to need to communicate with them on a regular basis. Democratic presence at community events—Democrats must attend events that are sponsored by and well-attended by our core constituent voters.

faxed.Some ways to communicate effectively with your core constituent community include: Finding strong messengers. 56 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 8 . By using lists of activists obtained from friendly organizations. media personalities. a surrogate for the candidate. Being visible. your core constituent voters rely on alternative sources for their news and information. Specialty Press and Earned Media Communications More than any other voting constituency. the Hispanic language paper. These messengers are often better voices for your candidate than the candidate and should be used as keynote speakers at events or asked to speak at rallies and press conferences. Identify people in the core constituent community who resonate with voters there. your message can be moved very quickly and in a “peer to peer” manner. It is important for the candidate. or a member of the Party to be visible in base communities both during a campaign cycle as well as during off years. or mailed with a request that the recipient share it with 10 to 20 more friends. and potential donors. Telemundo. core constituent voters also get information from other sources like: the African-American newspaper. Allied organizations will often assist by moving similar messages to their membership. Incorporating communications. or religious and organization leaders. neighborhood markets and fairs are key venues for visibility. which is sometimes the most effective. Univision. In addition to reading the local mainstream newspaper and watching the network news. Using activist lists. or Hispanic radio. Message pieces can be e-mailed. Building a website that is specifically targeted to a unique base vote community helps to spread message and provides a lucrative source of constituency activists. you can see that the number of alternative or specialty media outlets is huge. Community events and festivals. volunteers. If you give it some thought. Adding a function to capture contact information helps to build your activist e-mail list and ID voters. These people could be local or they could be nationally elected officials. Use the techniques and tips offered in the communications training manual on specialty press to make sure you are communicating regularly with these crucial media outlets. organization dinners.

THINK BIG. Of course. 3. Think of Election Day like a big party. pre-Election Day planning. 7. setting your tactics. who will do the inviting. 9. You have to determine who you want to invite. IF IT ISN’T WRITTEN DOWN IT DOESN’T EXIST KEEP IT SIMPLE KNOW YOUR RESOURCES – PEOPLE. TIME AND MONEY PLAN EARLY – PLAN OFTEN KEEP EVERYONE ON THE SAME PAGE – SHARE YOUR PLAN THINK OF. And you have to do it all within a budget. WRITE OUT AND COMMUNICATE EVERY DETAIL BE CREATIVE.CHAPTER NINE Get Out the Vote (GOTV) THE 10 GOTV PLAN COMMANDMENTS 1. ACT BIG THE MORE (HITS. right before the party make sure you have everything you need for your event. and then on the day of the party. setting up your organization. Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 9 57 . UNDERSTAND THE RULES AND ELECTION LAWS — AND PROTECT THE VOTE! Writing a GOTV Plan There are six steps to writing an effective GOTV plan: setting your targets. make sure everything happens without a hitch. 2. GOTV WORKERS) THE MERRIER INVOLVE EVERYONE (ESPECIALLY THE BASE. 8. 5. AND CAMPUSES) IN THE GOTV PLANNING PROCESS. BE AGGRESSIVE. — HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE TO THEIR GOALS 10. Guidelines for making you Election Day host or hostess extraordinaire are offered below. executing your plan on Election Day. 6. CORE CONSTITUENTS. and budgeting. GOTV TARGETS. and how you’re going to get the invitations out. 4.

These numbers will also help you to divide up the field organization and determine the appropriate ratio of field organizer-to-GOTV targets. you can determine if this is a manageable feat and if you have the resources to pull it off.Setting Your Targets Setting your targets is the process of deciding which voters you want to make sure vote on Election Day. Right off the bat there are three places you can easily set as targets for GOTV: Households or individuals who live in precincts with high Democratic performance. which are usually in precincts with 65%+ Democratic performance. Be sure also to exclude the stray Republican voter you’ve identified who lives in a Democratic neighborhood. Those people include: • • • People who are going to vote against you. Again. 58 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 9 . You can usually exclude people who voted in the primary elections because they are very likely to vote again in the general anyway. People who live in precincts below 65%+ that are known or suspected to be Democrats based on voter file information. People who your campaign IDed during phone banks or canvasses as being for you who usually in precincts performing below 65%+ Democratic performance. People who might vote against you. to vote for you no matter what. Once you have that number. you can usually exclude people who voted in the primary. One easy way to start setting your targets is to determine who you WON’T be turning out on Election Day. Count Your Targets Your universe of voters needs to be set so that you’ve targeted enough people to win. People who will absolutely vote for you and would show up.

disciplined and accountable – someone should be responsible for everything in a given geographic area. Responsible for recruiting for and sending people out on visibility. • • • Keep your structure horizontal. Volunteer coordinator – Recruits volunteers for all GOTV needs. Some of these positions can be filled with super volunteers. Campus director – Helps set up campus GOTV operations. Who on your campaign’s staff will be responsible for turning them out? What should your GOTV staff organization look like? Field director – responsible for developing all programs and developing and meeting budgets. Phone bank and visibility captains – Responsible for filling and managing a given phone bank. Make sure your screening process is not so tight as to make your universe too small and not so loose as to make your universe untrustworthy. Communicate daily on your planning – hold a GOTV meeting once a day for 15-20 minutes beginning at least three weeks out. Oversee precinct leaders/captains in their geographic area Voter file manager – responsible for production of all GOTV lists. Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 9 59 . and then daily the week before Election Day.When to Set Your Targets Nail down your target at least four months out and update them weekly. Core constituency organizer(s) – responsible for all specialized GOTV into traditional democratic base communities (does not overlap with field organizers day to day role). Your universe should always be flexible given the changing dynamics and resources in a campaign. you have to establish who is going to invite them to participate on Election Day. GOTV coordinator – responsible for all GOTV logistics and troubleshooting Field organizers – responsible for all GOTV activities in a given geographic area (do not overlap). The earlier you understand the size of your universe the easier it is to plan your budget. Setting Up Your Organization Once you’ve determined who your targets will be.

Take Election Day off for executing GOTV in his or her precinct. • Go door-to-door (Saturday through Election Day). Accountability Put an accountability system into your plan to answer the following questions: • How will you track staff progress on recruiting volunteers. 3. even if that’s a year before the election. Your campaign should start identifying precinct captains as early as possible.Precinct Leaders/Captains A precinct captain is responsible for carrying out all GOTV ground activities in a given precinct. and so the volunteers can see that the weekend is critical and they are needed. You will need volunteers to: • Manage and staff phone banks (Saturday through Election Day). precinct captains. however. 2. You should. also ask volunteers to take Election Day off from their regular jobs. • Give rides to the polls (Election Day). Phone he or she precinct five to seven days before the election to indroduce themselves to voters and ask if they need any help getting to the polls. Knock on the doors of all known or suspected Democratic households in his or her precinct on the weekend before election Day. Keep a sign-up chart on the wall so you can measure volunteer activism for GOTV weekend. completed GOTV phone calls and door knocks? • How will you track precinct captain progress on door knocking and phoning? 60 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 9 . Volunteers Begin recruiting volunteers for GOTV weekend months out. Ask each precinct captains to sign a pledge that he or she will do the following: 1. While volunteers can fill holes where you don’t have precinct captains on Election Day. don’t confuse their responsibilities with those of precinct captains. • Increase visibility through events and other opportunities (Saturday through Election Day).

Now you have to figure how you’re going to get the invitations to the voters.Training and Communication – Keeping Everyone on the Same Page Keep everyone on the same page. and timing of GOTV activities. Start this at least one month out. • Go over programming and what Election Weekend and Election Day will look like. Election Day reporting instructions. • Go over responsibilities. Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 9 61 . Begin daily staff meetings at least three weeks out. planning. • Go over Election Day procedures. • Go over GOTV meeting schedule and precinct captain trainings You should begin training your precinct captains at least two to three weeks before Election Day. etc). Put out bi-weekly field bulletins via e-mail and/or fax to all allies updating them on logistics. staff structure. • Go over what is expected of them. Setting Your Tactics By now you’ve figured out who you want to invite to your Election Day party and who is going to be delivering the invitatioins. • Pass out precinct captain kits (lists. Communication • Hold weekly staff meetings one to two months out. or you will collapse. Train both your staff and your precinct captains so that they are at peak performance on GOTV Weekend/Election Day. • Training You need to start training your staff for Election Day at least four weeks before Election Day.

the precinct captain. two phone calls How to Get Sporadic Voters to Vote Give them information. on average. “This is my fifth call. “I don’t want the Republicans to get in there. try to achieve. four days before. Election Day Hits Are Your Most Important! In an urban. day before) One door visit Saturday or Sunday before One phone call the Sunday before One phone call the Monday before One door visit w/door hanger Monday eve/night Election Day (the most important hits) — two door visits. “Where do I vote?” “What time do polls open?” “Can I get a ride?” “Who are the Democrats?” “Can I still register?” Apply steady pressure. always keep your universe of voters to turn out big enough to win. “You mean I can vote by mail?” or “Sure. “my neighbor. it seems you guys have everybody around here talking about voting – I think I will. I’ll take a ride. Answer their questions. but small enough to be manageable. Depending on whether or not your universe is urban. suburban or rural.” Motivate them. utilizing both paid.” 62 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 9 . “That issue your candidate has been talking about is really important to me. “Well. Your budget and your human resources should determine the top end of your universe size. you folks are persistent.” Appeal to partisanship. too.” Make it easy. 11 hits per voter.” Use peer pressure.” or.and volunteer-driven voter contacts. made me. densely populated area your GOTV hits just before Election Day may look like this: Two-three mail hits (week before.How Many Hits Do You Need? Remember.

A benefit of auto calling is that it can deliver a huge volume of calls in hours. Auto calling cannot tell voters where to vote or give other variable information. During these phone calls. paid live phoning can sometimes be impersonal. Mail Targeted. etc. you should provide specific information to voters including polling locations. direct mailings can deliver message and information on voting. If your universe is small and you have the volunteers and access to phone banks. local leader. celebrity. Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 9 63 . This is great for big voter lists. Mailings can get lost in the clutter. If you use paid live calls. they should be done at least once the weekend before Election Day and.). Mailings are more expensive and less interactive than delivering information door-to-door. make the calls on Election Day. It is important to remember to always put phone numbers and poll locations on each mailing. However. If you only have the budget for one call. go the volunteer route. Although this has an expense associated with it. if possible.Elements of a GOTV plan Paid Tactics Paid live phoning Use paid live phoning when you have the budget to do so. auto calls are cheaper but are even more impersonal. Paid auto calls can often be used to deliver a message from a candidate or an alternative surrogate (popular nationally elected official. where to call for a ride. it enables you to make massive amounts of calls. on Election Day as well. Paid auto calls As opposed to paid live calls. etc.

etc. signing. plant gates. If you put the wrong poll information on the doorhangers you could cost yourself valuable votes! Use door-hangers on Election Day when door-to-door canvassers find no one home – leave a personal note. Rides to the polls Rides to the polls are especially important if you have a large number of senior voters in your universe. and poll information. you will need tons of volunteers to have a successful phone bank. But be advised. Door-hangers Place door-hangers on door knobs of houses in high Democratic performance areas on the Monday night before Election Day. Organize events and visits to where your core constituent constituencies are going to be on Election Weekend. However. you will need even more volunteers than you do for phone banks. nightspots. Campus GOTV Recruit dorm captains who can play a role similar to precinct captains. 64 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 9 . Don’t wait for them to call you or assume someone is taking care of this. inform him or her that someone local will call back the weekend before Election Day to arrange a time. This includes chalking. It is very personal. This is great for when nothing else is happening – late night. a cell phone number. Visits to the base communities and core constituents. If a voter says yes. campuses. But be careful – this can be hard to pull off. Good places are churches. Dorm captains can be a little more creative on college campuses. Sunday mornings. union halls. Nothing is worse than promising someone a ride to the polls and then not delivering. don’t be afraid to overlap with your paid calls. early mornings.Field/Volunteer tactics Volunteer phone banks Volunteer phone banks are extremely cheap and very personal. But be sure to keep the volunteer phone bank and the paid phone bank in separate locations. etc. and very inexpensive. Volunteer door-to-door canvassing Volunteer door-to-door canvassing is a must on Election Weekend and a HUGE must on Election Day. Call all seniors in your GOTV universe seven to 10 days before Election Day to ask them if they need a ride. College students also are helpful for building crowds at weekend rallies. When using a volunteer phone bank for GOTV. Include the number to call for rides to the polls and poll location on the hangers if possible.

neighborhoods. always leave messages to remind people to vote. union plants. during drive times. Make noise and talk to people about going to vote. They also bring people in and then send them out to work. always insert this sentence into phone script “You know this is going to be an extremely close election. but NEVER DO VISIBILITY IN REPUBLICAN AREAS. • • • • • Hold rallies that turn into work days on the Saturday and Sunday before Election Day. Go to bus stops. It’s like inviting your obnoxious neighbors to your party. Some people don’t vote because they do not know how or where. Core constituent vote media These are useful for sending out invitations to vote. and volunteer info everywhere you can.” When phoning for GOTV always. Rally in the early morning and then the folks attending can hit the doors for a few hours. the phone number they can call for voting information. please. stores. in base communities where early vote is a possibility. etc. Information is essential. Communicate to voters their polling places. Again. and the phone number for voting information. You don’t want any Republicans showing up and ruining your Election Day! Beginning a week out. and TV/cable ads on base community focused media as part of your plan to energize constituencies. Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 9 65 .Rallies Rallies stir up the core constituency and get attention from the media. every time you can. it is important to build momentum toward Election Day. please get your fellow Democratic friends. malls. to rally the troops who then go vote. When talking to a friendly voter. go only where Democrats hang out. This may go without saying by now. downtowns. Visibility on Election Day is more than waving signs. where their polling locations are. newspaper ads. Visibility Visibility tactics are only useful in high Democratic performance areas. Your campaign should use radio ads. family and neighbors to join you at the polling place. or.

No doubts about what each person (from staff to allies to candidates to volunteers) is doing beginning at sun-up on the Saturday before Election Day. All lists in the hands of the people who need them. Phone banks ready. the staff and precinct leaders trained. and resources in the final. By now you should have the following completed: • • • The plan written.m. Drive time visibility continuing from the week before. When including VBM and early voters in your GOTV plans. Sample ballots prepared. a paid call to voters on Thursday or Friday. never give up. and systems are understood. now it’s time to make sure the voters are ready to vote and you’re ready to turn them out in force. Critical decisions made about how to allocate your time. work. Election Weekend is really when the rubber hits the road and the final planning is done.Pre-Election Weekend Planning By now you’ve done all the organizing for Election Day. on Tuesday. • • • • • • • • • • GOTV for VBM/Early Voters Make sure you understand the rules on VBM and early voting. work until 8:00 p. if it is allowable in your state. machines. Signs and literature in place. your overall field plan will have been working on it. It is time to execute and work. GOTV mail dropped and one or two pieces already in mailboxes Budget allowing. Never. The ballots. money. Calls for rides to the polls ready to be made. Obviously. Everyone is on the same page. consider the following: • • • • • • (For early voting) When can people begin? (For VBM voting) When did ballots go out? Can I pickup ballots up at doors and carry them with me to turn into the Board of Elections? Can I get a list of folks who already turned in their ballots? (Called a “match back”) When do people have to have their ballots in? Can people drop off ballots to their polling places? 66 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 9 . You have done everything you can to protect the vote.

phone universes cut. • Paid “live” phoning goes up through Election Day. Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 9 67 .m. • Start round two of GOTV paid auto calling. – 9:30 Drive time visibility 9:30 a.m. October 31 • Second Match back done – new lists. door knock as many precincts as you can. November 4 • Election Day Sample Poll Voting Plan (Can mix in VBM voters) Saturday Paid GOTV • Last piece of mail begins to hit mailboxes. • Mail wave one of GOTV mail to VBM voters. October 25 • Mail wave two of GOTV mail out. door knock. mail universes. Target doors in non-high D precincts. • Paid Auto Call goes to entire universe.Sample VBM GOTV Program (ahead of GOTV Weekend) October 18 • Ballots go in mail are mailed.m. GOTV rally(s) with principals then send them to work 10:00 a. October 28 • Mail wave three of GOTV mail goes out. Hit all doors in high D precincts. October 20 • Start Round one of GOTV with paid auto calling. • First match back done – new lists. Field/Volunteer GOTV Early a. – 5:00 p. • Volunteer phoning begins and continues through Election Day. mail universes. November 3 (The day before Election Day) • Final match back done if possible in large counties – new lists cut. Door knock.m. phone universes cut.

etc. GIVE YOURSELF A HAND — TODAY WAS AWESOME All day . Tuesday) Field/Volunteer GOTV Early a. 9 p.evening Visibility. Church picnics.m.m. Tuesday for paid phones as opposed to Sunday.m. (Choose Saturday. Campus rallies Drive time visibility More signs go up for tomorrow’s drive time. Monday. Many church visits Noon GOTV rally in base area/send them to work Noon – Dark Door knock.m. – Done 10:30 a. Lunch. If you talk to the people for the “8th *&%$$# time” you are doing just right.m. After Work After dark Drive time visibility Phone. Staff GOTV meeting. WE SMELL VICTORY. phone. 10:00 a. – wee hours Put as many lawn signs as possible in drive areas ready for morning drive. 68 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 9 . Where are people congregating? Festivals. 9 p. Bars. phone. Phone. phone Place door hangers in high dem areas. 9:00 – 9:00 p.m. phone as many Democratic households as possible. Monday Paid GOTV • Last mail piece is fully delivered.m. • Paid GOTV live call hits all day.m. 9:00 p. Volunteer phone. Noon – 9 p. Phone. Monday. Field/Volunteer Early a. Sunday Paid GOTV None unless you have the budget.m. If you hit the same ones twice in two days – perfect. door knock as many precincts as possible. Phone. Only go where most people are Democrats.m. – 9:00 p. Staff GOTV meeting.10:00 a. Put “VOTE TODAY” stickers on signs.m.

set up two operations in two separate locations: Receiving – Where you receive and process information. you’re ready to reap the rewards. You never know when you’re finally going to break through and get someone to the polls who wasn’t planning to vote. effective. Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 9 69 . The key to Election Day is making sure you have an efficient. That means having the best. If they are not. most committed precinct captains/ leaders. powerful ground force. Your field organizers need to track whether or not precinct captains are door-knocking their precincts. If you’ve done all of your work so far. This is also where your Election Day lawyer should go to receive any voting problem calls. you can send out volunteers.• • Don’t worry about contacting voters too many times. Receiving – The Boiler Room Put your numbers people — people who understand and appreciate the importance of data — here. Your voters are excited about Election Day and ready to hit the polls to vote for your candidate. Make this the place where you get reports from precinct captains/leaders in the field and process information. This one person in each precinct is responsible for moving all sporadic voters to the polls. Make determinations on how you are doing precinct by precinct over the course of the day and be prepared to shift resources. To make sure your ground operation runs flawlessly on Election Day. Shipping – Where you direct and ship out resources (people). Executing your plan on Election Day It’s party time.

Early a. 9:00 – 10:30 a.Shipping – Moving Product This where your volunteers arrive and are sent out. Also have people there for: emergency lists. Boiler Room processes information and calls shipping.m. 4:00 – 4:30 p. • Blanket canvassing. your precinct captains should not come down here – they have everything they need by now and should spend the entire day in the field.m. Precinct captains continue door-to-door and phoning their lists. An Election Day plan may look like this: Visibility Precinct Captains make first door knock pass through precinctsand phone everyone on their lists. Hit. Shipping dispatches new volunteers. and answering phones.) Set up assignment tables for: • Precincts where you have holes – This is your first priority. • Visibility activities. (Remember. • Phone banks (don’t have a phone bank in your shipping office on Election Day).m.m. 11:00 – 11:30 a. Precinct captains report. Boiler Room decides where forces are weak and calls Shipping. Precinct captains report numbers to boiler room and then go back to it. 10:30 – 11:00 a.m. Shipping dispatches door-to-door volunteers and phone banks to weak precincts.m. • Rides to the polls. Blanket phone banks and door-to-door work is going as volunteers come to Shipping. – 3:30 p. This is where you move and shift volunteers. 3:30 – 4:00 p. Have tables set up to process volunteers quickly. 11:00 a.m. 70 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 9 .m. finding precincts and voting locations. hit and hit every door and phone. 4:30 – 8:00 p.m.m. 9:00 – 11:00 a.

The budget is one of the three things that should affect your GOTV plan.m. Pair them in twos—two people per two precincts. because they are volunteer-driven. Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 9 71 . in high turnout areas. Feeding your volunteers costs money.) still cost money. All told. They can make calls from their homes or from their cell phones. Three things should drive GOTV plans: Do we have a large enough pool of voters to win? Do we have enough human resources working on our campaign? Do we have the budget? A GOTV budget can be expensive. it’s more cost effective than having to pay people to perform these roles. Polls are not allowed to close until everyone who is in line before closing time is allowed to vote. This makes it more fun. ask them to return to their polls to prevent people who are already in line from leaving. phone banks. In most cases it will probably be — and should be — the largest expense in your field/voter contact budget.Keep in mind the following tips to get the most out of your precinct captains: • Only give them lists of sporadic voters. Do not let them come back to the HQ until after the polls have closed. If they get the majority of the sporadic-voting Democrats. canvassing. all of your planning won’t be put to use. make sure you’ve budgeted carefully. but don’t think that. At 7:59 p. but if you can’t afford it. It should be noted that even the volunteer-driven parts of your GOTV plan (precinct captain operations. you’ll win. If you want to have a winning Election Day. Do not give them every Democrat. Trainings cost money. etc. Acquiring lists costs money. • • • Budgeting You can plan the best party in town. they are free.

37 per piece (includes postage) $. Have a fund to deal with them. etc.13 per connect $.In the end.30 per piece (includes postage) $. and lots of it.” If they are hired just for GOTV put them here. This covers precinct captain mailings.40 per completed calls (includes messages) $. Election Day will throw a few emergencies your way.08 per piece $. List production Communications Volunteer costs Rallies Election Day 72 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 9 . You need paper. Many campaigns incur huge debt because their GOTV plans did not budget for all GOTV needs.18 per piece $2. Rallies cost money.50 per sign This cost needs to be factored in for VBM programming — get quote from County Elections Offices. Cost Estimates: Paid GOTV live phones Paid GOTV auto calls Mail (party rate) Mail (non-party rate) Door hangers Door knock/lit piece Yard signs Match back $. fax communication. This covers food and taking care of volunteers. Put this in your budget. GOTV staff Some people may be on GOTV staff or may come under “Field Staff. GOTV budget items: Leaseback volunteer phone Put about $250 per phone bank in your budget (never use for long distance). your budget should take into account every aspect of GOTV.

speechwriting and scheduling and advance. Larger campaigns will need to create additional staff positions. Field Organization — Contacts. Comptroller — Audits the campaign and regulates all finances. identifies and mobilizes voters for Election Day. including long-range planning and event media. Voter Contact Manual 2004 • APPENDICES/LINKS 73 . Communications Director — Works with the Campaign Manager to devise an overall press plan.Sample Campaign Organizational Chart Appendices Consultants Field Mail Phone Media Pollster Candidate Kitchen Cabinet Manager Deputy Manager Administrative Comptroller Volunteers Coordinator Volunteers Finance Director Treasurer Fundraising Consultants Field Director Regional Director Fundraising Staff Field Staff Communications Director Press Secretary Staff Researcher Scheduler Administrative Assistants Internet Staff Trackers Note: This organizational chart should be used only as a guide. Administrative Staff — Responsible for ensuring that all aspects of the campaign are running smoothly. while smaller campaigns may be able to fill some of these positions with volunteers.

Scheduler — Determines which invitations the candidate accepts by balancing the demands for the candidate’s time. Pollster — Conducts polls that will be used to target voters and develop efficient messages. Researcher — Gathers information to be used in campaign materials. Press Secretary — In charge of day-to-day event planning and interaction with the media. Trackers — Staff dedicated to tracking press coverage of the candidate. Volunteer Coordinator — Consults with all divisions of the campaign to best utilize volunteer resources. Manager — Makes all strategic and tactical decisions. collects background on the candidate and their opponent and verifies accuracy of everything put out by the campaign. 74 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • APPENDICES/LINKS . Fundraising Consultant — Supplements the on-staff fund-raising operation by organizing events with representatives of PACs or other interest groups with supportive constituencies. the candidate’s record and that of his or her opponent.Finance Director/Treasurer — Writes and implements a finance plan that tracks money by method and date. Kitchen Cabinet — The candidate’s team of personal advisors. oversees budget. prepares materials to distribute to donors and plans fund-raising events. cash flow and daily management of operations. Volunteers — Can be used in all aspects of the campaign. and ensures that all legalities are met. Media Consultant — Creates television and radio advertising based on information about persuadable voters. Mail Consultant — Produces persuasion mail to complement other paid media. Fundraising Staff — Sets fund-raising goals and figures out how to meet them.

Sample Individual Canvass Report Completed Voter Contact Manual 2004 • APPENDICES/LINKS 75 .

Sample Regional Canvass Report Completed 76 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • APPENDICES/LINKS .

Sample Statewide Canvass Report Completed Voter Contact Manual 2004 • APPENDICES/LINKS 77 .

Sample Walk List Identifying information has been removed 78 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • APPENDICES/LINKS .

When the canvassing is finished. The Tally Sheet. You’ll also track if they’re interested in doing anything additional for the campaign. hostile Not at home Code each household at the end of the interaction. ask if they are one of the people on your list. These are the households you should visit. Voter Contact Manual 2004 • APPENDICES/LINKS 79 . The Voters’ List. based on the information you collect. or need more information. They are listed in an order that should make sense for walking – first all the even-numbered houses. and to answer their questions about the candidate. When someone answers the doors. You’ll note if someone answered. Headquarters will follow up by sending individualized letters to specific voters. This will allow you to walk up one side of the street and then down the other. 2. to give them some campaign literature.) WHAT WE’RE DOING We’re canvassing homes in independent voting precincts to tell voters about (candidate). Introduce yourself to anyone who answers the door. Wear your badge.DOOR CANVASSERS (NOTE: Adapt these sample instructions to your situation. Be sure to code each visit by circling the appropriate symbol underneath the name of the person you speak with: F UN X NH Favorable to candidate Undecided. which will identify you as a campaign volunteer. and how they felt about your candidate. then all the odds. Most households have more than one registered voter in them. based on what they tell you when you ask them about the candidate.Sample Canvasser Instructions INSTRUCTIONS TO DOOR-TO. The Volunteer Badge. doesn’t know Unfavorable. but the people we really want to talk to are the ones on the list. 3. This sheet should be marked at every door you hit. HOW TO DO IT This Kit contains everything you’ll need: 1. how many people you spoke with.

don’t fake it. you don’t know the answer. my name is ----__________. but it’s perfectly all right to consult this sheet when you get a question to which you do not know the answer. put all materials inside. and we will get in touch with the voter quickly to answer their question. which you can return to Headquarters. and I’m a volunteer for -. The words you say and the impression you make will have a big effect on the voter’s decision. The Report. you’re a personal representative of the candidate. May I speak with you for just a moment?” 2. Here’s an outline of the canvassing message. If you are asked a question that is not addressed on this sheet. “_______(voter)_____. Give each voter one of these. We think _(candidate)_is one of the few candidates we can trust these days.who’s running for Congress. So you should feel free to adapt this script a little bit so that it feels comfortable for you. You’ll need to go over it a few times to get it down in your own words. and return it to Headquarters. 6.Sample Canvasser Instructions Continued 4. WHAT TO SAY Remember. you are volunteering your time in support of a candidate you firmly believe is the right choice. You will use the information on this sheet to answer voters’ questions in the manner that the campaign has decided is best. You need not commit these points to memory – you can answer questions without this sheet if you know what to say. and you are here on our candidate’s behalf to try to answer and questions the voter might have and to ask. Then fill out a Q slip. and you don’t know the answer._(candidate)_. Talk about the candidate. When you’ve finished. 5. If no one answers the door – or if no registered voter is home – leave this card and a campaign brochure. in person. as a member of the same community.” 80 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • APPENDICES/LINKS . 1. The Campaign Brochure. The Not-At-Home Card. 8. When you get a question you can’t answer. This will tell you about (candidate) and what the candidate stands for. please fill out the Report section of the big envelope. Just say you’re a volunteer. have a strong opinion on who to vote for. 7. for their vote. The Candidate Briefing Sheet. don’t try to answer it. but you’ll find out and get them an answer. You will be more likely to earn a vote if you can make a friendly personal connection. “We’re helping _(candidate)_because _(candidate)_is an honest candidate with a good record of helping the consumer. Identify yourself. The Q Slip. The most persuasive thing about your one-on-one interaction with a voter is that you. and so you are communicating the most important facts: you are from the neighborhood or the district.

If no. “Have you made up your mind about the election. call ____(chairperson)____ at --__(phone number)____. continue. to tell you more about _(candidate)_. Offer brochure. If you contact an unfriendly person. Is there a particular issue you’re concerned about – or any other question you’d like to ask?” Answer the question if you can._(candidate)_will be a great congressperson. don’t walk across lawns. don’t argue – just terminate the conversation quickly. It is important to be charismatic. Also. 4. polite. Voter Contact Manual 2004 • APPENDICES/LINKS 81 . you are the representative of the campaign that the voters you talk to are most likely to remember when they go into the voting booth on Election Day. Thanks for your time. (voter)?” [If yes. _____(voter)____.” SPECIAL GUIDELINES You’ll find almost everyone will be polite and willing to listen. Remember. Pleas consider voting for _(candidate)_ on Election Day . If you have questions or problems. fill out a Q slip. determine preference and conclude conversation appropriately. Ask the question.] “I’d like to leave this brochure with you. remember to carry some form of identification with you. and enthusiastic. “We’re conducting a person-to-person campaign because _(candidate)_ wants to make sure the people know where _(candidate)_ stands on all the issues. and don’t put campaign literature into mail slots or mail boxes (that’s only for US Mail). If you can’t.Sample Canvasser Instructions Continued 3.

Miss Mrs. _______________________________Phone: _____________ (first) (last) Street Address ___________________________City ______________Zip _______ The attitude of this person is: Favorable----_______ Unfavorable_______ Undecided_______ Question or Request: ______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ Canvasser’s Name: ____________________________Date: ______________ Information Sent: _________________________________Date: ______________ Comments: _____________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ 82 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • APPENDICES/LINKS . Please Print Their Name: Mr. tell him you’ll pass it along to the candidate or campaign director. Fill it out completely.Sample Question or Special Request Form Question or Special Request If anyone you call has a question that you can’t answer or a special request. Your team captain will get this form from you at the end of the day. Ms.

At Home % (of Houses Visited) 4. Favorables % (of At-Homes) 5. Undecideds % (of At-Homes) 6. 2. Houses Visited Not at Home % (of Houses Visited) 3. Unfavorables % (of At-Homes) Cumulative Voter Contact Manual 2004 • APPENDICES/LINKS 83 .Sample Evaluation Form Day of Week __________________ Date __________________________ DOOR-TO-DOOR EVALUATION Today 1.

Sample Individual Phone Report 84 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • APPENDICES/LINKS .

Sample Regional Phone Report Voter Contact Manual 2004 • APPENDICES/LINKS 85 .

Sample Statewide Phone Report 86 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • APPENDICES/LINKS .

Sample Phone List Identifying information has been removed Voter Contact Manual 2004 • APPENDICES/LINKS 87 .

). Don’t let them pile up. This need only last about one half hour. Reward good performance. 7.m. If you have any problems. Run four-hour shifts. and the general productivity of the bank. instruct them in marking the tally sheets. You will be calling from lists of registered voters in the targeted precincts. Collect special request forms periodically. call the main Headquarters and ask for ______________. Most phoning should take place during the evening hours (6:00-9:00 p. Be pleasant and courteous.m. Also. particularly if you are falling behind schedule.Instructions for Phone Bank Supervisors Note: Remember to be sensitive to events that are important to people’s lives. Your phoning lists will be given to you by the phone coordinator. or on Friday night in a heavily Jewish community. You will need to hold a training session for your phoners the first night. Be watchful for trouble areas with phoners. As supervisor of the phone bank. 10. It is your responsibility to total all tally sheets and compute the statistical evaluation sheets.) and all day Saturday (10:00 a. 4. etc. Encourage your phoners constantly. 6. Rehearse the phone message with your callers. daytime phoning during the week is an option. you will be responsible for all phoning activity. 5. Do this at the end of each shift. 2. Sunday calling is acceptable in some areas but not in others. 8. 3. Assign phoners on a shift basis each day.m. You will be responsible for keeping your phones filled during all phoning hours.9:00 p. 1. 9. or on Sunday in the Deep South. no phone calls should be attempted during a Green Bay Packers game in Wisconsin. 88 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • APPENDICES/LINKS . Refer them to whomever will do follow-up with more information about our candidate. For example..

6./ Mrs. 3. who would you support./Ms. determine what they feel is important and note it on the sheet./Ms. please. Rate the voters on the voter sheets according to the following code: “1” “2” “3” “4” Strong supporter Leaning Undecided Opposed 2. Discuss issues only when necessary and preferably with undecided voters when they volunteer opinions. thank him or her and hang up. 4. When ending the call remember to thank each person you spoke with. Turn in completed sheets when finished. Mr. Mr. We are conducting a survey to determine the choice of voters in this area. If the election for _______________ were held today. If the voter is rated 4.Sample Phone Scripts Two types of scripts can be used when calling a voter from a phone bank: 1) Sample Identification Script “Good afternoon (morning or evening. 5. Voter Contact Manual 2004 • APPENDICES/LINKS 89 . _______________? I’m _____________. I’m working for ___________ _____./Mrs. ________________ or __________________?” 1.) _____________. Do not use a combination of numbers when rating one voter.

As you may know.” If undecided: “The Election’s not until November ___.” Sample GOTV Scripts First Call: Weekend and night before Election Day “Hello./Mrs. My name is _______________. 2. as above. we will need every vote on Tuesday to win. IF NO: Thank the person for his or her time. Our records show that you live in precinct ______ and you vote at ______________________. (persuasion message). _______________./Ms. If a supporter: “I’m glad to hear that and I hope to see you at the polls on November ___. do you think you’d vote for _______ ________?” 1.2) Sample Persuasion Script “Hello. and I’m a volunteer calling for _______________. Rate the voter on the 1-4 scale. “If the election were held today. Mr./Ms. Would you like more information on __________________ ___? For all: “Thank you very much for your time. ______________? This is ______________. so you still have time to make up your mind. Tuesday is Election Day.” “Do you need a ride to the polls?” IF YES: Fill out a slip and give it to the appropriate person. and the election will be very close. can we count on you to vote on Election Day?” IF YES: “Thank you for your help. IF NO: “(Insert candidate name) really needs your help. Goodbye. Mr. and I am calling for (insert candidate name). (insert candidate name) really appreciates your support.” 90 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • APPENDICES ./Mrs. (Insert candidate name) will really need your vote.

Mr.” Mark on the sheet. and the polls close at _____________. Your polling location is: (insert polling location). you vote at (insert polling location). (Insert candidate name) really needs your vote. IF NO: “There are only _______ minutes/hours left before the polls close. Voter Contact Manual 2004 • APPENDICES 91 .” IF VOTED: “Thanks for voting. Third Call: Election Day afternoon. ______________? This is ______________. and I am calling for (insert candidate name). early evening “Hello./Mrs. Thank you. Thank you./Mrs. IF NO: “As you know. and I am calling for (insert candidate name)./Ms./Ms.Second Call: Election Day morning “Hello.” IF VOTED: “Thanks for voting!” Mark on call sheet. can we give you a ride to the polls?” IF YES: Fill out a slip and give it to the appropriate person. TODAY is Election Day. TODAY is Election Day. and the election will be very close. and you can vote today until _____________. ______________? This is ______________. (Insert candidate name) will really need your vote. Mr. can we offer you a ride to the polls?” IF YES: Fill out a slip and give it to the appropriate person. Please vote today.

NCEC Sample Courtesy of NCEC 92 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • APPENDICES .

Explanation of NCEC Terms Courtesy of NCEC Voter Contact Manual 2004 • APPENDICES 93 .

Explanation of NCEC Terms Continued Courtesy of NCEC 94 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • APPENDICES .

Multiply by . 8.38 (3) phones going 9.6 for phone match Contact 70% by phone Time your script and determine how many calls can be made in One hour (identify average rate of connection in one hour – normally One in every One0 calls) Determine how many hours during the week you can make calls Multiply the number of contacts times the number of hours = One phone equivalent Divide the goal by the phone equivalent to determine the total number of phones needed Based on the number of phones.70% contact rate = 630 phone calls ID script with four questions (two candidates/two issues) = 12 per hour Can call for 22 hours a week (M-Th/three hours. 7. 3.500 Volunteer I.6 phone match = 900 900 x . 6. Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 3 95 .6 for households Multiply by . For volunteers you have three seats for 22 hours 10.500 1.6 households = 1. 2. Calls 2. You need to recruit at least six people for each seat for 22 hours (double the number of volunteers). 9.500 x . 4.Voter Contact Formulas Volunteer-Based PHONES 1. 6. S/S-five hours) One phone can make 12 contacts every hour 22 hours to call x 12 contacts per hour = 264 contacts To complete the calls in 22 hours. 5.500 x .D. 8. 3. determine how many people you need to fill slots Recruit double the number of volunteers to fill slots 5. 1. you need to make 630 contacts divide 630/264 = 2. 4. 2. 7. Example: 2.

6 households = 1. Sun/four hours) 10 hours x eight contacts per hour = 80 contacts To complete the canvass in 10 hours.500 x .500 Contact eight households per hour (vary depending on neighborhood) Canvass for 10 hours per week (Sat/six hours.500 doors to knock 2. you divided 1500/80 = 18.75 (19) You need 19 people hours for all 10 hours You need to recruit at least 38 people VOTER CONTACT BUDGETING FORMULAS Vote-By-Mail Application call – eight per hour Ballot collection – eight per hour Reminder to send in ballot – 20 per hour Early Vote Early Vote Reminder – 12 per hour Door-to-Door Canvass – eight per hour Knock-n-drop – 12 Lit drop – 30/50 hour depending on the geography Petition collection – 10 per hour/more during heavy traffic times GOTV GOTV calls – 20 per hour Scheduling rides to the polls – eight to ten per hour Giving rides to the polls – six hour (depends) Election day fly squads – Depends on the terrain and time of day 96 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • CHAPTER 3 .DOOR-TO-DOOR Example: 2.

Sample Field Budget Courtesy of Joe Hanson Voter Contact Manual 2004 • APPENDICES/LINKS 97 .

Sample Field Budget Continued Courtesy of Joe Hanson 98 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • APPENDICES/LINKS .

Sample Field Budget Continued Courtesy of Joe Hanson Voter Contact Manual 2004 • APPENDICES/LINKS 99 .

We called this morning. Third and Last Call (5 PM to Closing) “Hello. Mrs. so your vote is doubly important. but since then we have found out that not many people have voted yet. ________. you vote at _______ and you can vote until _____. Mrs. or help you vote in any other way?” IF YES: (Fill out service slip/ Q slip and give it to the appropriate person) IF NO: Great.Sample Election Day Scripts (To identified supporters) First Call (10 AM to 2 PM) “Hello. Please do vote today Mr. 100 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • APPENDICES/LINKS . Can we give you a ride to the polls?” IF YES: (Fill out service slip/ Q slip and give it to the appropriate person) IF NO: “OK. so (candidate) really needs your vote. Mr. The voting had been very light./Ms.” Mark on sheet. The election today will be very close and _________ will need our vote. Can we give you a ride to the polls. ________. but please vote before_________. Is there anything we can do to help you vote? A ride?” IF YES: (Fill out service slip/ Q slip and give it to the appropriate person) IF NO: Great.5:00 PM) “Hello.” IF VOTED: “Thanks for voting. Goodbye. ________. ________? This is _________.” IF VOTED: “Thanks for voting. Mrs./Ms.” IF VOTED: “Thanks for voting. and I’m calling for _________. Mrs./Ms. you vote at _______ and you can vote until _____. and I’m calling for _________.” Mark on sheet. ________? This is _________. “As you know. You vote at ___________./Ms. Mrs. Mr. Mr. Goodbye. Thank you Mr.” Mark on sheet. Mrs. ________? This is _________. “As you know. There are only _______ minutes left to vote./Ms./Ms. Goodbye. Second Call (2:00 PM. Please do vote today Mr.

Community outreach — Programs and events that focus on relating and working with the constituency community. Budgeting — A formal finance plan for the election.Glossary Activist List — Lists of activists obtained from friendly organizations that can later be called upon to disseminate a message quickly via word of mouth. Boiler room — The headquarters on Election Day that consists mostly of the “numbers people. All these provide alternatives to going to a polling location on Election Day. Canvassing — Going door to door to speak with voters. Campus director — A member of the GOTV staff responsible for setting up college campus operations and campaigning. Automated calls — See “vendor auto. giving more opportunities for voters to cast their ballots.” Base vote — The foundation of voters who can be counted on to vote in your favor.” This is where your reports from the field are sent and processed. This base vote includes precincts with voters with 65% or higher voting performance over the last three election cycles for the same type of election as your candidate’s. Alternative voting laws — Early voting. Voter Contact Manual 2004 • GLOSSARY 101 . Core constituencies — Voters who always vote and should be naturally inclined to vote in your candidate’s favor. Vote-by-Mail and same day registration.

GOTV — Get Out The Vote. Expected vote — The number of people expected to vote in the current election. based on data arranged by geographical region and voting performance. 102 Voter Contact Manual 2004 • GLOSSARY . Democratic performance — The average percentage a Democratic candidate may get in the jurisdiction you are targeting. GOTV index — The actual number of Democrats in a precinct who do not vote in every election. You can determine this figure by calculating the average percentage of the Democrat in the race over three to four elections. Field organizer — A member of the campaign staff who administers a voter contact program. Demographic targeting — Selecting voters to attempt to persuade. Geographic targeting — The act of determining which voters your campaign will contact. Typically the last weekend before an election. Data management — The task of keeping track of your voters and the campaign’s goals.Core constituency vote director — A member of the campaign staff who ensures that the core constituency (the “base”) supports the campaign and turns out on Election Day. Core constituent vote media — Targeted messages to your core constituency. Field organizing — The work of contacting voters directly. Field director — The campaign staffer responsible for the voter contact operation. at which point you mobilize your base and give a final push to your persuadable voters. based off their voting record. and need to be targeted for Election Day. Early vote director — A member of the campaign staff who maximizes early vote laws to turn out as many voters as possible before Election Day. Door-hangers — Voting reminders and information about the candidate placed on voters’ house doors.

GOTV Plan — A strategy for getting out the vote, or grassroots work, that includes such components as setting your targets, setting up your organization, setting your tactics, pre-Election Day planning, executing your plan on Election Day, and budgeting. High Democratic performance precincts — Precincts with a 65 percent and above Democratic Performance. Most base voters live within high Democratic Performance precincts. Internet organizing — Mobilizing your supporters online. Organizing on the Internet allows you to build communities to support your candidate. Leafleting — Distributing campaign literature throughout high traffic areas, such as grocery stores and mass transit stops. Literature distribution — Leaving campaign literature at the front entrance of a voter’s home. Also called a “lit drop.” Low Democratic performance precincts — Precincts with a Democratic Performance of lower than 45 percent. Most Republican voters live in these precincts. Mail — Targeted direct mailings delivering message and information to voters. Motor voter laws — Laws enacted in the mid-1990s that enable citizens to register to vote while they complete routine tasks such as registering their cars or filing for changes of address. NCEC — The National Committee for an Effective Congress. The NCEC produces targeting data used in many campaigns. “Numbers people” — People who understand and appreciate the importance of data. These people should work in the Boiler Room on Election Day. Paid auto calls — Method of reaching and persuading voters by delivering a targeted, automated message via telephone. Paid live phoning — Method of reaching voters by employing a representative to call targeted voters directly. Paid tactics — Methods of reaching voters that must be paid for such as paid live phoning, paid auto phoning, and mail.

Voter Contact Manual 2004 • GLOSSARY


Persuadable voters — Voters who do not necessarily lean for you or against your candidate. In field operations, these are your targeted voters. Persuasion call — Directly speaking with a voter via telephone, in order to convince him or her to vote for your candidate on Election Day. Persuasion index/percentage — The actual number of voters in a precinct who are ticket-splitters. Phone bank — The group of people making calls on the campaign’s behalf. Phone bank coordinator — A member of the campaign staff who manages the phone contact operations. Phone vendors — Consulting firms that provide paid phone banks to candidates. Precinct captain — A member of the campaign staff who oversees operations at a polling location on Election Day. Regional field director — A member of the campaign staff who oversees field operations for a particular region. Registration — The total number of registered voters in a particular precinct, town, county or state. Specialty press — Press that is geared to specific audiences outside of the mainstream press circles; therefore the message tends to be tailored and often biased toward those audiences. Steering committees — The bringing together of a broad range of leaders and organizers from a particular constituency for discussion and outreach. Swing precincts — Precincts with a 45 to 65 percent Democratic Performance. These are where most of your persuadable voters live. Targeting — The act of identifying and honing in on your core constituency and therefore creating a campaign tailored to that audience. Ticket splitters — Those who do not vote along Party lines. Turnout percent — The percentage of registered voters who have voted in similar elections in past years.


Voter Contact Manual 2004 • GLOSSARY

Vendor auto — A call paid for by the campaign, in which a message recorded through a consulting firm is sent via phone to voters. Also referred to as a “robo-call.” Vendor live — A call paid for by the campaign, in which a consultant speaks with the voter live over the phone. Visibility — Tactic of getting out your message using such methods as posting signs, postings, sign waving, and handing out fliers. Visibility captains — The member of the GOTV staff responsible for recruiting and sending people out on visibility including posting and holding signs. Volunteer live — A call made to a voter by a campaign volunteer. Volunteer tactics — As opposed to paid techniques, methods used by volunteers to contact voters to disseminate messages and information on voting. Vote deficit — The number of additional votes you’ll need to win. Vote goal worksheet — A calculation sheet that allows you to determine the number of persuadable votes you’ll need to win the election. Vote rallies — An event held to encourage voting. Voter file manager — A member of the campaign staff who keeps track of the voter files and helps to determine the best areas to target.

Voter Contact Manual 2004 • GLOSSARY


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❑ Make sure you know the laws of campaigning in your area. ❑ Use data from recent and relevant elections to identify your universe. and hire them. ❑ Win.Voter Contact Checklist ❑ Determine your vote goal. ❑ Write your field plan. ❑ Implement early vote program. ❑ Determine which vendors you will use for all voter contact. ❑ Find your election workers and volunteers. ❑ Assign responsibilities and make sure everyone knows what theirs are. ❑ Decide who you need to be working for you. ❑ Implement GOTV plan the Saturday before the election. ❑ Determine how to hold you and your staff accountable to the plan. Voter Contact Manual 2004 107 . ❑ Decide who (demographic) and where (geographic) your targets are. if applicable. ❑ Implement Vote-by-Mail program. ❑ Implement voter registration drive.

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