Participating in your democracy is the most important thing you can do. And with less than two weeks left until the general election, the time to get involved is now.
The good news is that there is no shortage of ways that you can help. No matter where you live or which political party (or no party) you support, there are ample opportunities to make your voice heard. And it’s never been easier. Visit almost any campaign website, and you will find a way to get in touch with staff members who can help you get started. In my experience, below are some of the most effective ways to get out the vote.
Ways to Participate
Texting and Phone Banking: Calling or texting voters on behalf of a campaign or cause is one of the most effective ways to encourage turnout. The best part is that you can make calls from anywhere – from the comfort of your home, on your lunch break, or at a quiet park. And while it can be frightening to cold-call strangers, I assure you that it gets easier after about the first five calls. Campaigns will give you a script and a contact list that make it easy to have a conversation. And if you are volunteering with a local campaign, you will be talking to your neighbors.
Postcards: Many organizations and campaigns welcome volunteers to write letters to voters. Personal messages to people you actually know are effective in helping to turnout voters and increase participation. Traditional campaign mail has a lifespan of about 8 seconds, but a personal message from a friend could inspire a person forever.
Canvassing: While the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly limited traditional door-to-door canvassing, there are still ways to engage with your community in person. Many campaigns are doing “no-knock lit drops,” which means canvassing voters in a neighborhood by only leaving literature about a candidate in place of physically knocking on doors and having conversations with residents. Canvassing has never been easier or more efficient.
Sign-Waving: Candidates, especially at the local level, can benefit significantly from sign-waving. And it might be a good chance to get some face time with the candidate! Sometimes sign-waving events are held at busy intersections or voting locations. A sign-waver can be the last message a voter receives before they cast their ballot. Of course, ensure you are following all rules and regulations when sign-waving at voting locations.
I assure you that your gift of time to a campaign is most-appreciated. And it feels good to know you had an impact on your democracy. Florida needs Conservation Voters like you to help environmental champions win up and down the ballot.
Do not wake up the day after the election and wish you had done more.
Give it your all. Our democracy demands it.