Oct 2008 KTA: Get Out the Vote

This month’s Kitchen Table Activism is to make your local group’s plan to Get Out The Vote (GOTV). Over 20 communities already have ballot measure forums scheduled with ROP – that is amazing! These forums are great ways to get in depth information to a smaller group of people that we hope will stay involved with our groups after election day, but we also need plans to reach large number of people with the compelling and concise information that is in the ROP STAND Voter Guide.

WHY THIS ACTIVITY? Fancy focus groups and statistical polls confirm what we already know – the best way to impact someone’s vote is to receive information from someone they trust – a friend or family member, co-worker, neighbor, a fellow PTA or Rotary member. We also know that community members are more likely to read literature if it is dropped off at their house, as opposed to mailed or picked up at a public venue.

Each election cycle ROP produces the STAND Voters Guide to help our selves and our neighbors navigate the issues and make decisions that will advance democracy this election cycle. This week you should receive your STAND Voters Guide in the mail! Also visit [ENTER LINK TO STAND Guide] to review the contents. For the first time this year, we have also created a version of our ballot measure recommendations in Spanish.

Your plan can be as easy as a one time “knock and drop” on the weekend of Oct. 18th and 19th, or it could include a ballot party or a ballot measure forum. However you decide to do it, consider how you and your group can influence the decisions that our communities will make this election cycle.

STEPS TO COMPLETE THE ACTIVITY:

  1. Share this KTA with your human dignity group.
  2. Review the STAND Voters Guide. If you need more or haven’t placed an order, call or email cara@rop.org today! We have a last minute stash saved to meet your needs! Decide if you would like to add any additional information on local initiatives or issues or if you would like to put a personal note in from your local human dignity group.
  3. Identify your sphere of influence: who can you impact? In addition to sharing them at work, with friends, in line at the grocery store, at the next reading group or Rotary meeting, think about who in your community needs this information. Remember the more personal the exchange, the better.
  4. Set a date and time for your group to do a “knock and drop” with the ROP STAND Voters Guide on the weekend of Oct. 18th and 19th. This will be the prime weekend when ballots will be arriving. Develop a list of potential volunteers and make calls. Let us know at ROP, and we’ll help spread the word in your county.
  5. If you are delivering or mailing your STAND Voters Guides to a particular neighborhood or groups of voters, consider making a round of “courtesy calls” to let your neighbors know to look for you on the weekend of the 18th. This is an easy and friendly way to make an even greater connection and impact on voters – and also allows you the chance to introduce your group and increase the likelihood that the STAND Voters Guide will be read and used. A sample phone script is below. If you want help pulling a list of voters, email cara@rop.org.
  6. Consider one of the activities below to add a little more meat to your group’s GOTV plan. These activities offer a chance to explore what’s on the ballot and build analysis, not only for this election cycle, but for the long term.
  • Organize a Ballot Measure Forum. Last month’s KTA offered a great tool kit for planning an interactive ballot forum to discuss the issues and make sure that your membership, supporters, and the broader community are informed. Contact cara@rop.org for more ideas and for sample press releases, flyers, email announcements, and more!
  • Host a Ballot Party. Once you have your ballots and STAND Voters Guides in hand, host a get together to discuss the issues and candidates, analyze the ballot with a pro-democracy lens, and fill out your ballots.

STAND Courtesy Call Script and Ballot Measure Forum Invite

Introduction:
Hello. Is ____ there?

This is ____ calling. I’m with ___________ (local group name). As someone who wants to vote each election but can find the ballot sometimes overwhelming and confusing, I am volunteering to help motivate others to get information on the ballot and to vote. Did you know that this November we will be voting on 10 different ballot measures that relate to everything from education and lottery funding to prisons and taxes?

If you are inviting them to a Ballot Measure Forum:
We are having a community ballot measure forum on ______________________ (date, time, and place). There is a lot on the ballot and we want to make sure that folks in our community have the information that they need to make good decisions. Our counties are having a tough enough time already without some of the damage that these measures would do.

Can you join us for the ballot measure forum?

If you are distributing STAND Ballot Guides to them:
Our group is sending out/delivering Voter Guides to neighbors in our county and I wanted to call and give you a heads-up.

The STAND Voter’s Guide is designed by small town Oregonians who care about maintaining and building our democracy. The group that is delivering the Voter Guides is ___________.

More group details, if this is useful for your group:
Have you heard of our group?

We are a group that is committed to maintaining and building our democracy. Much of our work focuses on _______________

(Take notes on if they show interest in the group.)

Closing:
Ballots will be going out in the mail the week of October 17th. They are due to the county elections office by November 4th. Some of the ballot measures will really impact our democracy. Do you have any questions about the ballot or elections this year? Are you registered to vote? The deadline is October 14th!

(Use your STAND Voters Guide to provide information on how to register or answer other questions.)

Message:
Hi. This is ___ calling and I’m a volunteer with __________.

If you are inviting them to a Ballot Measure Forum:
I am calling to invite you to a Ballot Measure Forum on _______________ (time, date, place). We would love to have you join us to talk more about how these measures will impact our democracy and our communities. If you can make it, please give us a call at _________________ so we know how many people to expect!

If you are sending them a STAND Ballot Guide:
Our group is delivering/sending out a pro-democracy Voter Guides to households in our community. Ballots go into the mail the week of October 17th and are due back to the county by November 4th. As someone who cares about the health of our democracy, I encourage you to vote this election. Keep an eye out for your ballot measure guide!

Closing: And if you would like someone to talk through the ballot with or support on getting more information, you can call us at ______________. _____________ (group name) is an all volunteer group encouraging everyone to get out and vote this election. Thanks, and have a great day!

(Make sure to record how many people said yes, no, or maybe and how many people you left messages for or whose numbers were wrong. Thanks and happy calling!)

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