getting to know your turf for gotv

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GETTING TO KNOW YOUR TURF FOR GOTV
WHAT’S ON THE BALLOT?
As an organizer you should know exactly who and what is on the ballot this year.
However, if you are a 501c3 organization, you must be careful to never endorse a party,
candidate or ballot initiative as you are talking with voters. Your contact with voters
must be non-partisan. For more on election laws for 501c3 organizations, visit the
Alliance for Justice site: www.ajc.org, especially their resources for Non-profits section.
Research: What’s on the ballot? Who’s running for office in your region? What ballot
initiatives are up for a vote? How has each candidate voted in the past on legislation
that your community cares about?
WHERE WILL PEOPLE VOTE?
Visit your County office to find out where all the Early Vote locations are in your County,
what days and times they’re open. Also, ask for a list of polling locations for each
precinct you will be canvassing. It’s worth checking back a week out from Election Day
to see if there have been any polling location changes.
WHAT RESOURCES CAN YOU FIND IN YOUR COMMUNITY?
GOTV is all about mobilizing all the resources you can to help keep people focused on
getting voters out to vote. Brainstorm the biggest list you can of people or
organizations who might join your effort if you just ask, then get on the phones and
start inviting others to pitch in! Think about:
--Rides to the polls schedule (organizing car pools, borrowing school or church vans,
etc.)
--Food and water (for your canvassers and phonebankers)
--Cardboard, binder clips, plastic bags, pens, paper for door to door walk packets
--Phone lines for phone banks (lawyers offices, funeral homes, community
organizations)
--Staging locations (a reliable place to send volunteers and run your neighborhood
operations)
WHAT ARE YOUR STATE’S ELECTION LAWS?
Find out everything you need to know about your state’s Election laws on our website:
http://elections.neworganizing.com (more info on the next page)
 New Organizing Institute 2010
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Contact:
Sam Oliker-Friedland
Deputy Director of
Data and Technology
[email protected]
The NOI Organizer’s Guide to Elections is a consolidated resource that provides information on
state-based election policies and procedures for organizers, campaign staff, and other political
practitioners. This information is be presented in a simple and accessible format, yet will has
enough depth and sourcing to facilitate the most detailed research.
http://elections.neworganizing.com
Organizers are Adrift in a Sea of Information
Many progressive campaigns fall victim to simple traps that could easily be avoided with the
proper information. To organize effectively, practitioners need much more information about
the mechanics of elections than they possibly have time to research.
Other existing election administration resources are geared either towards voters or
researchers. Those geared towards voters are very easy and accessible, but the data can be
shallow, poorly sourced, and of limited value to practitioners. Those geared toward researchers
and advocates are often impossibly detailed and hard to find. Resources provided by states
themselves can be poorly organized or lacking the crucial information needed to run effective
campaigns in the state.
Accessible, Accurate, and Comprehensive
The Organizer’s Guide to Elections interface is simple and intuitive, allowing users to research
both the relevant election information for a given state and the scope and practice of specific
election topics (such as which states include some form of early vote) at the touch of a button.
Every piece of information has been rigorously sourced and dated.
Topics Include:
•
Third-party voter registration rules, procedures, and deadlines, including rules for 17year-olds, felons and ex-felons, and students.
•
Nuanced information about state early voting practices, absentee voting, vote-bymail, vote centers, and other alternative voting methods.
•
ID Requirements and other required documents at every stage of the process.
•
What happens on Election Day, including rules regarding electioneering and polling
place challenges.
•
All relevant election officials, including guides to state, local, and municipal election
bureaucracy.
 New Organizing Institute 2010
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