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Step-by-Step Instructions

(Will require someone with Excel familiarity.)


These instructions show you how to manually prepare a walking or volunteer phone-banking list, starting with readily available Voter Records from the Secretary of State office or from your local Board of Elections. If at all possible, attempt to use software capabilities for these tasks, because it will be quicker and easier. Based on much research,, consistent with its mission of providing you with best practices and tools, recommends rVotes as the most capable and proven campaign software suite. Please read all about our rVotes analyses, capabilities, successes, vetting, and deployment learning on our many sub-tabs under the main rVotes tab.

Get your Neighborhood Precinct Voter Record 

  • Obtain your county’s Voter Record from your local County Board of Election or from your Secretary of State’s website – Ohio residents click here.
  • If it is not already in Excel format, it will most likely be in a comma-delimited format, in which case it will need to be imported into an Excel program - Click here for instructions.
  • Within all of the county’s data, find your precinct voter records and delete all other records.

Prioritize Voters in your Neighborhood Precinct

Create Walking Lists from the Prioritized Voter Record

  • First, save a copy of the Voter Record with the “Priority Score” column. What you do next depends on your objective. Follow the suggested "Priority Score Focus" in the above chart based on the objectives in the left-most column. This will allow you to target your efforts and make them more manageable to accomplish with your volunteers. (Click on this link to view a larger PDF of the chart above.)
  • Once you sort your voter list, based on one of the scenarios above, you may want to delete all other voter rows that don’t apply. Then save this smaller voter list under a new name. 
  • To create the precinct walking list, sort this Excel based neighborhood precinct list of targeted voters based on street and secondarily by street number.  
  • Simplify the Excel based walking list by deleting all Voter Record columns, except for “last name”, “first name”, “street”, and “street number”. You may also want to delete duplicate voter entry rows for the same street address. Add columns such as “Home”, “Not Home”, “Likely Voter” “e-mail Address”, Phone Number, “Needs Voter Registration Form”, “Needs Absentee Ballot Application”, “Needs Transportation”, “Interested in Joining Organization”, “Interested in Volunteering”, and any other columns to capture information when going door-to-door.
  • Now create individual walking lists for each of your volunteers. Do this by creating logical groupings of streets, or sections thereof, of 40 households per volunteer. This will assure each volunteer is assigned a manageable number of households, since volunteers can cover about 20 households per hour, with about 50% being home per trip. Net, volunteers will need to make multiple trips to catch everyone home and talk to all of the targeted voters. To help with the logical groupings of streets, or sections thereof, use a precinct map. These are available from your County Board of Elections or the Secretary of State’s website. Frequently you will be able to find an online version by using Google and your “precinct name”, “state”, “precinct” and “map” as search keywords.

Walking Script for Door-to-Door Canvassing or Volunteer Phone Banking - Non-Partisan

  • The primary purpose of the walking script is to identify which of the Independent voters you contact are like-minded. This can be accomplished by simply asking if the contacted voter is also concerned about big-government politicians bankrupting our country and indebting us, our children, and grand-children. Typically, you will find that 80-90% of the targeted, contacted voters will be like-minded and share your concern about our country’s financial predicament.
  • Once you determine that the contacted voter is like-minded, you simply encourage them to vote for candidates who believe in limited government, free markets, and individual liberties. Also encourage them to get other like-minded family, friends, and neighbors to vote. Additionally, you determine if they, or anyone in the household, need voter registration or absentee voter applications.
  • If like-minded, also obtain e-mail and phone contact information in order to periodically send information regarding your organization, educational events, or information about upcoming elections.  Additionally, if the like-minded contacted voter appears supportive, you may also want to ask if they are interested in volunteering to help with Get-Out-The-Vote efforts.
  • Click here to view a simple script for Door-to-Door Canvassing or Volunteer Phone Banking. It includes “Dos”, “DONTs”, and optimum times for canvassing on the back.

Door Hanger for Neighborhood Canvassing - Non-Partisan

  • If no one is home or if the contacted voter needs more information, leave a door hanger with the contacted voter or on the door. Typically, about 50% of contacted households won’t be home on any one pass. If possible, try to return at some other time to personally talk with each of the targeted voters on your list.
  • Non-partisan door hangers cannot be for or against a specific party or candidate. They can include principles which are to be used as a basis for voting, such as limited government, free markets, or individual liberties. They can also state what trends you are against, such as failed stimulus spending, job-killing cap & trade laws, and government-run health care. Furthermore, they can provide data based information, such as a specific candidate’s or party’s voting record, government spending data, or polling data.
  • Importantly, make sure the door hanger includes dates, times, and locations for Early Voting and Election Day Voting.
  • State who paid for the door hanger and include your organization’s name, contact information, and meeting dates/ times/ location. Click here to view a sample door hanger.

Recruit Volunteers for your Neighborhood Organizing Efforts

  • The most effective and efficient way to recruit volunteers is by personally asking others to help with Neighborhood Organizing. Get a list of Tea Party, 9/12 Project, etc. members who live in your Neighborhood precinct and personally go to their homes to invite them to help. Similarly, ask neighbors and friends who live in your Neighborhood precinct and who you believe to be like-minded.
  • Less effective ways to recruit volunteers are announcements at meetings, newsletters, e-mail appeals, or phone calls. Robo-calling (see below for information) registered Republicans, who always vote, can also generate volunteers.
  • Once you have a core volunteer base in your Neighborhood precinct, have these volunteers similarly recruit even more volunteers. You can get by with about five volunteers, but ideally you should target to have 10-20 volunteers for Neighborhood Organizing your precinct.
  • Each volunteer should receive a walking list of targeted voters, created per the above instructions in the “Walking List” section. Volunteers can typically cover 20 households per hour, with about 50% of them being home per pass. Net, each volunteer will be asked to devote about 2-4 hours of time to the Neighborhood Organizing effort.
  • You may want to create a volunteer data base with names, address, phone, and e-mail contact information. This will be your core group as you start growing your Neighborhood Organization for subsequent election Get-Out-The-Vote efforts.

Leveraging  Robo-call ( NotifyNOW) Capabilities

  • We have received much national and local feedback in support of using Robo-calling to recruit new, like-minded members for organizations. It has also been used effectively to inform organization members of upcoming organization meetings or events. In some groups, up to 30% of members don’t have access to e-mail and the internet, especially the older members, and thus rely on being notified by phone. To a lesser-extent it can also be effective to Get-Out-The-Vote, when used in combination with door-to-door canvassing and volunteer phone banking.
  • Tom Zawistowski, who founded TRZ Communications in 1982, is a true patriot and has offered like-minded organizations a rock-bottom rate of 4 cents per minute per call or 2 cents per thirty seconds per call. He requires no minimums. Typically, other providers of this service require rates in the 10–15 cents per call range, frequently with required minimums. Tom is also the leader of the Portage County Tea Party in Ohio, which has one of the most effective Get-Out-The-Vote efforts in Ohio.
  • It is very easy to get started with Robo-calling or NotifyNow, as Tom Z. likes to call it. Just go to the website and sign up. Tom will then e-mail you a simple contract, which you have to sign and fax or scan/ e-mail back to him. He will then e-mail you detailed instructions to get started. These are as simple as calling your phone’s voice mail account, entering a password, and leaving a voice mail. If you send him an Excel list of your membership or targeted voters, he has software to determine the phone numbers and will add this list as one of your groups which you can then target with a Robo-call message. If you give him targeted ZIP codes for your area, he will similarly pre-load voter lists with phone numbers for you as one of your groups.


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