How You Can Help Get Out The Vote!
By Karolina Newcombe
WashCo Dems Communications Committee Member
So, you are excited about the upcoming midterms, registered and eager to vote, busy canvassing and campaigning for your favorite candidate. Strange as it may sound to those of us who exist in our political bubble, we have lots of friends and neighbors and loved ones who have not yet decided who they will vote for, or even if they are going to vote at all.
What??? “But elections are so important!” …you say.
You may be passionate about politics, but many of your fellow Oregonians are too busy, don’t know who the local candidates are, or aren’t sure if their vote will make a difference.
Here are some tips on how YOU can make a difference at the ballot box by encouraging your friends, family, neighbors, and acquaintances to exercise their civic right and VOTE!
Offer to help drop off a ballot:
Not everyone has the time or the ability to easily get to a drop box, so offer to take your friend’s ballot to one of their county drop off sites. One local activist I know goes so far as to deliver anyone’s ballot on his bicycle by request.
Make the connection:
If your friends/family are feeling “meh” about the election, connect the dots between voting and an everyday issue they care about, especially if it’s one that hits the pocketbook. The water board members will affect water prices and quality. The County Commissioners control a multi-million dollar county budget, and can greatly influence traffic, transportation, and affordable housing in the County. Illuminate how local candidates might not have the same name recognition as national politicians, but they certainly do have a direct effect on our lives. A quick google search on these elected positions can get you well on your way to providing these kinds of meaningful answers.
Help answer questions:
If you are a political junkie who has been obsessively following candidates and issues, you will be a valuable fountain of knowledge for those who have not yet made up their minds about who they are voting for. If there’s a specific policy question you do not have an answer to, offer to use your time to do research about it and get back to the questioner.
Share, share, share! Posts about local election issues. “I Voted” graphics. A picture of you dropping off your ballot. Whatever you can do to nudge your friends’ list to get that vote in. Remember, if it doesn’t exist on social media, it doesn’t exist… so turn the election into a trending event!
Call or text people to remind them to vote:
You can do so as part of an organized phone bank, or call your contact list on your own. If it takes hassling people a little to make democracy work, it’s worth it!
Make voting fun:
Host an election night party. Give prizes to friends who vote. Spread the word with lawn signs and buttons. Bake a Blue Wave cake. Be creative!
Be a leader:
Last but not least–want to take your voter motivation skills to a brand new level? Join the Neighborhood Leader Program! As a Neighborhood Leader, you will meet neighbors in your local precinct, inform them about issues and candidates, and of course, make sure that they know just how important their vote is.
In the Trump era, our vote is more important than ever. So get out there and get out the vote!