We are all eager to see a big, beautiful Blue Wave sweep over the country in November. One thing campaigns need … is people.
Campaigns that win their elections are campaigns that have a lot of people working to make sure they spread their message to as many voters as possible. Volunteers are crucial, really crucial, and there are a ton of different ways you could help your favorite candidate win their election.
Challenge for the week: Go volunteer! Here are several ways to volunteer:
1. First, you’ll need to choose a campaign to work on. Sure, you can check out their online presence (website, social media accounts,etc.) but nothing beats hearing them speak in person. Candidates and campaign staffers regularly go to your local Democratic party meetings and other events in your community as they want to be seen, so you should be there too. Looking good on paper is one thing, but being engaging in real life is critical for a candidate.
2. Find your candidate’s local campaign office. That info should be on their website. You can either walk in or call and let them know you’d like to volunteer for an hour. Or more!
3. Help your candidate with a specific project. All campaign websites have a way to sign up to volunteer — they’ll send you periodic emails alerting you to projects they need help with. Go help when you have some availability in your schedule.
4. Distribute yard signs. Candidates get many requests from voters who want to have a yard sign to show their support. Let the campaign know you’re available to deliver those to voters.
5. Update the campaign’s data. Every time a group of volunteers canvass voters, they receive valuable information about how particular voters are leaning towards the candidates in a election. All this information needs to get inputted into the campaign’s database.
6. Bring food to the campaign office. Campaigns always have super-dedicated volunteers who spend hours and hours every day doing the work that needs to get done. They don’t always have the time (or the money) to get food for the office. Ask if they’d like meals or snacks–they probably do–and then make/donate them.
7. Help sell campaign T-shirts. Trust me, it’ll start conversations when you’re wearing one and you’ll have a chance to tell people why you think your candidate is the best person for the job!
8. Volunteer to help someone hosting a house party to collect donations. Can you get 5 friends to attend and donate to the campaign? That adds up!
9. Offer to drive people to the polls on voting day. The campaign can help spread the word that you are available to drive people and can even connect you to people who need a ride throughout the day.
10. If your state offers vote-by-mail, go to retirement communities to offer assistance with getting ballots by mail. It is a great way to increase turnout.
11. Connect your candidate to important people in your community. Are you connected to community and business leaders or other influential people in your city? Either through your job or volunteer work or because you love to network? Your candidate will need the support of those influential people in the community to reach a larger audience of voters. If you can make the connection, do so!
12. Phone bank for your candidate. Phone banking is another proven way to turn out more voters, especially when those calls are made right before election day. Read this primer if you want to know more about how it works.
13. Text bank for competitive candidates. Right from home, you can text voters to remind them to vote in the upcoming midterms. There are texting campaigns every day! Sign up with Indivisible here.
14. Volunteer to work at polling places on election day. Again, the campaign can organize all the volunteers to make sure that as many locations get covered as possible.
15. Commit to volunteering on the Final Weekend. This national effort to help get out the vote in the four days leading up to Election Day is crucial. Be a part of the growing community.
I’m sure there are many other ways to volunteer. If I left off your favorite way to volunteer, please let us know by leaving a comment! But please, volunteer. Whether an hour or several hours or several days–the campaign could use your help.
Catch up on our previous Midterms 2018 challenges:
Week 10 – Choose the top 3 candidates you’ll focus on
Week 9 – Learn the key issues for your chosen candidates
Week 8 – Volunteer for a voter registration event
Week 7 – Become a more effective communicator
Week 6 – Register 1 new voter
Week 5 – Canvass