Get Out The Vote!

GOTV work is a mini field campaign unto itself, so plan accordingly.

In the intensive period of voter turnout work during the last week of the campaign, campaigns essentially seek to replicate everything they've done before – but faster, bigger and with greater intensity.

So what should be on your GOTV checklist?

A plan is your best friend and greatest ally

To do all this without going crazy, campaigns need a clear plan for GOTV. By ten days out from the election, you should know what your priorities are; what work you are going to try to accomplish (with numerical measures); what resources you need for GOTV (signs, door-hangers. etc.); and who is in charge of each piece of this work.

Just remember, crises are part of the fun!

A few strong leaders should have no assignments at all – they will be on hand to deal with crises. And a word about crises: because time is short and pressure is high, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll be dealing with at least one unexpected challenge over election weekend or on Election Day. You don’t have time to let a crisis knock you off course; with few exceptions, simply keeping the work going according to your original plan is better than trying to make a last minute adjustment.

Avoid the data crunch

Where many community organizations find GOTV work overwhelming is trying to keep up with the data. You want to build your base so you’ll generate a high volume of names and issue ID information right up to and including Election Day. Make it your goal to be completely caught up with data entry before GOTV, and when the pressure heats up, don’t let it overwhelm staff and volunteers; keep in mind that time spent on the street, getting out the vote, is much better spent. Plan to give staff time off to recover from the election – but also plan to make sure that any overflow data entry will get done soon after the election.