Six Tactics for Effective GOTV
Most campaigners are familiar with GOTV, or Get Out the Vote, in theory. With the right GOTV tactics you can ensure that your supporters vote.
What is GOTV?
Get Out the Vote (GOTV) is a movement or campaign that encourages people to register for and participate in elections. General GOTV pushes registration and voting, but it can also refer to a campaign phase.
Partisan GOTV is the last part of a campaign that takes place over the weeks before an election. It’s a targeted effort to get that campaign’s supporters out to the polls. For campaigns, the idea is to make sure their supporters vote as opposed to general voter turnout.
Because voter turnout is so low in American elections, just getting your supporters to vote can be a major advantage. A strong GOTV strategy could be the difference between your candidate winning or losing the election.
Get Out Your Voters
Before you start developing your GOTV strategy, make sure you know about your local laws regarding voting and campaigning. You need to know about registration and voting so you can give your supporters accurate information, and you don’t want to jeopardize your campaign by breaking campaign laws.
Once you’re up to date on your local laws, you can build your strategy. To successfully get your supporters out to vote, you need effective tactics. Here are six of our favorite methods for making sure your campaign gets the votes it needs.
1. Using Mail
Whether it’s snail mail or email, mail is an important part of early GOTV outreach. You want to remind your supporters about significant dates, the ways they can vote, and the candidate they’re voting for.
Don’t devote too much time to your candidate, as the people you’re talking to are already supporters. Focus on information to help them form a voting plan, but remind them who they’re supporting.
2. Calling and Texting
Another great way to get in contact with your supporters is through phone calls and texts. While older generations might prefer a call, younger people usually like to get a text instead.
Don’t be afraid to call and text the same person. While you shouldn’t overwhelm them with messages, a call in the weeks before an election and a text the day of can be helpful.
Ask your supporters if they have a plan to vote. If they don’t, give them any information they might need to make one. You can use your call list to get in touch with people you know to support your campaign.
Though it’s not the safest method right now, canvassing is a useful technique. Face-to-face interaction can have a powerful effect, and it gives you the chance to hand your supporters a hard copy of registration and election information. They’ll have an easy reference tool if they have future questions.
4. Provide Transportation
Providing transportation is a surefire way to guarantee your supporters get to the polls. Not only does it give you a chance to dispense last-minute information, but you can also ensure that your supporters are actually voting.
It’s also a great way to help those who don’t have reliable transportation. According to the American Public Transportation Association, 45 percent of Americans don’t have access to public transportation. Many of them likely don’t have access to their own transportation either.
You can help your supporters that fall into that category, whether they’re low-income, elderly, or don’t have transportation for another reason. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to ensure your supporters get out to vote.
5. Advertising Online
Many campaigns overlook online advertising. While it’s good for building your campaign, it’s also a great option for reaching young voters and giving them information about registration.
You can use targeted advertising to reach supporters in your area and provide them with the information they need to build a voting plan.
6. Thanking Voters
Once the election has ended, don’t forget to thank your voters. It’s best to do this over text or through the mail, but you want to show your appreciation for their support.
You want your voters to know that you’re thankful they took the time to vote for your candidate.
Not only will this help ensure their support through your candidate’s term, but it will also encourage them to support your campaigns in the future.
The GOTV phase of a campaign is a great way to ensure your supporters get to the polls. You can capitalize on low voter turnout just by getting more of your supporters to vote.
Don’t overlook the importance of a strong GOTV strategy. With these tactics, you can make sure your campaign is successful and your candidate gets elected.