- Plan at least forty-five days ahead
- Team up with ethnic or
religious groups that maintain mailing lists of individuals who might serve as
targets for campaign
- Aim for about 3-4 contacts of targeted voters prior to
Election Day. Of these, a minimum of 1-2 contacts should be door-to-door
contacts with door hangers. Other contacts can be via phone.
- Define expectations for the number of houses to visit and
recruit volunteers, along with back up volunteers.
- Volunteers can knock on 20 doors per hour.
- With an expected 50% contact rate per pass, canvassers will
end up talking with about 8-10 households per hour.
- Older voters will be more likely to be home than young voters.
- Provide a brief training session for volunteers.
- Training does not need to be extensive – about half hour is
- Informal communication style works best.
- Canvassers should use own speaking style
- Experienced canvassers are only slightly more effective than
- Mobilize voters by making
them feel wanted at the polls. Personal invitations convey the most warmth and
work best. Phone calls in which the caller converses with the respondent is
- Building on voter’s
preexisting level of motivation to vote is also important. Calling back a voter
who indicated a previous interest to vote is a powerful mobilizing tactic.
- Many nonvoters will vote if
they think that others are watching. Remind that voting is a matter of public
record, but do so carefully.
- In “opposition” territory rely more on “stealth” campaign
with more dependence on phone, e-mail, and meeting communications.
- Other than getting out votes, canvassing can provide other
“benefits”, such as:
- Persuading voters to vote in a certain way
- Canvassers receive useful feedback which can be leveraged
- Campaign material handed out will publicize the campaign and
communicate its message
- Clean up the out-dated voter lists
- Register new voters
- Create database and flag voters for GOTV special attention
- Other face-to-face opportunities which may also generate
votes are: retirement homes, shopping centers, night schools, house parties,
and religious centers
- Prepare maps and street walk sheets prior to blockwalking
- Plan to have coffee, pastry, and bottled water for
volunteers on day of blockwalk
- Blockwalk in pairs – one speaker and one data
taker/navigator or split up sides of street
- May need residents to Blockwalk within gated communities and
- Plan a time and place to meet after the blockwalk to collect
updated voter records and to debrief
- Provide blockwalk volunteers with precinct core team cell
phone numbers, so can call if have questions and /or issues
- Prepare door hangers, flyers, or sticky notes one week in
- Record updated Voter Contact information as soon as possible
- Send a thank-you note to your blockwalk volunteers