I saw that headline in my inbox and it got my attention. I’m on Twitter a lot and talk with a great many hard-working citizens doing everything they can to make sure the Democrats flip a lot of seats this November.
But, it can be easy to get sucked into Twitter, or Facebook, or whatever form of social media you like best. Since you’re talking about politics all day, it feels like everyone is.
But they aren’t.
I heard from several friends this weekend about how their canvassing had gone. Generally speaking, they were having lots of good interactions with voters. But, there were voters who weren’t entirely sure when the election was (!!!), or who the candidates were!
We’re now just shy of the November elections and our focus must be on getting out the vote. There are lots of effective ways we all can be getting out the vote.
If you tend to do everything on social media, consider doing something in the real world to bring attention to voting. Talk to people in your life, even if you just start with your barista at a local coffee shop. Get involved with canvassing for a campaign or phone bank and talk to actual voters. That personal connection makes a HUGE, statistically relevant difference to voter turnout.
Again, there is a lot of great organizing happening on social media but be careful that the work you put into politics online doesn’t take the place of doing the work in the real world.
2019 Elections: The Big November Races
2019 Elections: What Action Will You Take?
2019 Elections: Get Out the Vote From Home Challenge
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Thank you for this piece. I am an Old Steamer who comes from a long line of Campaigners, so was taught from a very early age that personal contact is the way to get votes. For anything. If one believes in a candidate, personal commitment is the answer. If one believes the community needs a new school or health center, personal commitment is the answer. If one believes a highway will literally kill the neighborhoods through which it will go, personal commitment is the answer.
Now that I am that Old Steamer, I am not physically able to get to many rallies or stand around in all kinds of weather with a sign in my hands. Driving Voters to polls is not within my capability. I had to retire as warden of my own poll BUT I do work shorter hours at a different poll.
We can all do so many things these days, that we don’t even realize: making telephone calls, even from our own homes; working on mailings; helping with data entry for mailing lists.
Lots of times, we find our selves on social media ~ like now ~ but we are only talking, for the most part, with like minded people. Even if we engage in discussion with ‘the opposition,’ it is a shot in the dark & generally unproductive. Our time could be so much better spent by calling the office of some candidate we can support to ask what they need & how we might contribute our skills. Old Steamers have so much life experience & wisdom, many of us, that we would be welcomed.
I am not familiar with the term Old Steamer, but everything you say holds true. Personal contact is the most effective tactic for these kinds of conversations. Thank you for your passion and your years of civic service!
Thank you for the inspiration! Your knowledge is uplifting and motivational.
Thank you for writing, and letting me know!
That technically means that voting is only twice as effective as complaining on the internet (100% more means twice as much, 200% more means 3 times as much, etc.).