Welcome back! In our first five weeks, you laid the foundation for you and your friends to successfully vote and helped swing a key race. (If this is your first visit, catch up via our Midterm Challenge Introduction and previous challenges here.)
And if you’re looking for a little extra encouragement and motivation, make sure to sign up for MoveOn’s Sunday evening calls from now until the Midterms. Next Sunday (October 28) will feature Senator Bernie Sanders, MoveOn’s Election Program Director Rahna Epting, and more.
We are in the homestretch now — November 6 will be here before you know it. This week, your focus will be on local races, in particular the number one most effective GOTV technique: CANVASSING. That’s right, it’s time to knock on some doors!
1.PICK A LOCAL RACE — This can be for a federal or state position (Senator, Governor, etc), a local position (School Board), or a ballot measure. If you need inspiration on who or what to pick, go back to your sample ballot from Week 4 and pick something or someone that you either feel passionate about, or think will be a tight race that you want to ensure goes blue.
2. JOIN THE CAMPAIGN — If you don’t already have a link, google for the campaign website and find them that way. Get connected to what they are doing by signing up for their email list, liking their facebook page, etc. You can find local campaign volunteer opportunities at Mobilize America with just your zip code.
3. CANVASS — Reach out to them to see about canvassing or literature drop opportunities, and sign up for at least one session. Nervous about it? Check out Swing Left Academy’s helpful introductory video. Canvassing is preferable (it’s the most impactful GOTV tactic!), but alternatively you can volunteer for phone banking, text banking, tabling, or even postcards if they offer it.
4. DONATE (if you can) — Money is critical to campaigns, particularly smaller or more local campaigns that are likely operating on a very small budget. Give what you can, and encourage your friends to do so too.
5. SPREAD THE WORD — Take a minute to write down why you are supporting this candidate or issue, then post it to social media with an invitation for friends to join you. Also, tell at least 5 people in person (or via text) about what you are doing for the campaign, and why.
6. SHARE YOUR SUCCESS — Make sure you are logged into your 5 Calls account and then click “I did it” to record your success in this week’s challenge. Then, follow the prompts to tell everyone on social media what you accomplished, using the hashtags #MidtermChallenge and #KnockOnDoors. This will not only help build momentum for yourself but also within your network.
Alternate Option: If you cannot volunteer or donate for whatever reason, skip Steps #3 and #4 and go straight to Step #5 (motivating others to get involved).
That’s it for this week — congratulate yourself on talking to strangers for a good cause!
Next week, we’re going to switch back to broader impact with GOTV…your hint is, well, it’s “VOTE”.
And our weekly reminder — 5 Calls is a volunteer-run non-profit. We appreciate your support!
More Details on Challenge Design and Supporting Data
Is canvassing REALLY the most effective tactic for GOTV? Several analyses have consistently found a real and robust impact for canvassing on voter turnout. In fact, “door-to-door canvassing was the most consistently effective and efficient method of voter mobilization”.