If you’ve been wondering how you can help with voter turnout from the safety of your home, you’ve come to the right place.
But first, let’s talk about why reaching out to voters LONG before Election Day is really important.
Early voter outreach is crucial
A lot of folks know about getting out the vote (GOTV) in the days leading up to Election Day. Fewer are aware that the best and most effective voter outreach efforts start long before that.
Early outreach to voters is about listening to their concerns about a particular issue. The next phase of outreach is the persuasion phase when you return to voters and ask if they will support your candidate. The final phase is simply reminding them to vote.
There are volunteers all across the country that have been calling and texting voters for months now, but many more are needed. That’s where you come in!
There are so many organizations that do Democratic voter outreach, but today I’m going to talk about Open Progress. You know about door-to-door canvassing and phone-banking, right? Well, they do that but with texts.
I’ve done multiple campaigns with them, both for huge statewide races and super-local races. We volunteers are called the Text Troop. What I like about working with them is that I get a ton of flexibility. I can see what days they’ll be running texting campaigns well ahead of time, which is crucial because I work full-time, and can help whenever I’m available.
For the remainder of this election cycle, Open Progress will be focusing on the battleground states that are important for the presidential, U.S. Senate, and state legislature elections. They will also be targeting states with key Attorney General races.
I reached out to them to ask if there was anything in particular they wanted to share with all of you here at Political Charge. I got this from co-founder Elizabeth Haynes:
“Dumping Trump means working from the bottom up. That’s why we are texting now in battleground states––Michigan, North Carolina, & more soon––to help candidates win and retake their state houses. Early work can drive turnout gains of as much as 20 points––that’s right, 20 points! Let’s do this. Join us in Text Troop to connect with voters across America!”
How it works
First, let me dispel the biggest worry I’ve heard from folks: You will NOT be using your personal cell phone number.
Nope, you’ll be using Open Progress’ platform, called TextOut, that you access through a web browser. You’ll be sending your texts through that program, but for the voters, it’ll appear as a normal text on their phone. The text is already pre-written for you, and you just send them. A lot of the time, voters will see your text but not respond. But if they do (yeah!!), Open Progress has nearly every possible response all laid out and waiting for you. It’s like they’ve thought about literally everything a voter might say back at you and pre-written a response for you. You just choose the right response, click, and send it. Did I mention I think they are awesome?
In addition to the texting platform that they’ll train you on, they also have a Slack channel that they’ll ask you to sign up for. This is so they can communicate with all of their volunteers, and it’s where you can go in case you have any questions about getting set up, or once you’re in the middle of a texting campaign. I’ve found them to be super responsive. I don’t know how they do it, but they are ON IT.
Seriously, take 5 minutes today and take a look. You can absolutely do this, and they will help you every step of the way. Ready to go? Start HERE.
Political Charge is all about helping you get connected to effective actions. Taking action is the only way we’re going to get the results we want in November. Every voter that is spoken to, every voter who receives a text is another voter who is made aware just how important their vote is this year. Thank you for taking a look at Open Progress. And remember, I’ve worked with them so if you have any questions, feel free to ask me!
Thank you for taking action!
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