Do you wonder what we mean when we talk about “getting out the vote?” Have you heard about block walking but are turned off by the prospect of knocking on doors?
When we block walk to get out the vote (GOTV), we have a list of people who we know in the past have voted for progressive candidates. We’re knocking on friendly doors. Our goal is to get a commitment to vote, not just for one candidate, but for a full slate of progressive candidates who share our values.
Our ultimate goal is to build a sustainable GOTV infrastructure and to increase voter turnout. It’s about neighbors helping neighbors learn more about candidates and making sure they know where and when to vote. This strategy is far more effective in the long run than having outside groups go into a neighborhood one time and urge people to vote.
You start with your own neighborhood. As you proceed through your neighborhood, you stay alert for people who are willing to help. As you gather helpers, who can service their own streets, you can move to other neighborhoods in your precinct, gathering yet more helpers. Our job is one of knitting together the progressive folks we meet along the way by offering opportunities for them to get to know each other. In this way, we build a network of folks who can encourage other folks to participate in elections at all levels — federal, state, county, city and school board, etc.
To learn more about how to join our GOTV efforts, please look for the guide for your county and contact your precinct chair or county point person. Or leave a comment and we will connect you.
–Special thanks to SRM for her assistance with this article