The Checklist

Everything you need to do as A Vote Captain, all in one handy checklist! 

 
This year's general election will be held on November 5th, 2019.

Note: Unless otherwise noted, “election day” means ANY date with an election. That includes off-cycle local elections and primaries. Voting on these days is just as important as voting in November!

 

First Steps

Make sure YOU are registered to vote and commit to voting in every election.

Decide who you want on your “team.”  

Make a list of people you want to do voter outreach to so you don’t forget anybody when election day rolls around. (For information about how to pick you team, check out our "Choosing Your Team" page.)

Look up your state’s local and federal election dates and add them to your calendar.

Don’t let off-cycle local elections or primary dates sneak up on you! Send calendar invites to your team so they have this information as well.

Make sure each member of your team is registered to vote or, if they’ve moved recently, that they switched their registration to their new address.

Be prepared with registration links or forms just in case!

 

Three Months Before Primary Day

 

Find out who’s running in your party primaries and get involved EARLY.

Every year we hear stories from across the country about how people weren’t excited about their party’s candidates. The thing is, YOU get to pick the candidates! If you get involved in this process early, you can support lesser-known candidates that you’d actually want to see in office.

 

Two Months Before Any Election Day

 

Send emails or texts to your team to confirm that they aware that an election is coming up.

This is especially important for primary elections, runoffs, and off-cycle local races, which often fall at unexpected times of year.

Learn about what the voter ID laws are in your state and make sure your friends are prepared.

Sure, we want to overturn those unfair restrictions, but first we want to make sure that they don’t stop voters in the short term. Offer to help your team get whatever ID is required well before the election.

 

One Month Before Any Election Day

 

Find out which candidates and parties represent your views.

It’s easy to find out about candidates with big money and lots of press. It’s often harder to find out who else is running. Make sure you know who the main players are and what they stand for.

Start asking your team what they’ve heard about the candidates running, and start a dialogue about the upcoming election.

People are more likely to follow the news if they have a sense of which names and pieces of information they're looking for. Drop some of this information into conversation with your team. Give them a few brief facts about the candidates and the main issues they'll be voting on.

Ensure that anybody who wont be in town for election day has requested an Absentee or Mail-in Ballot.

Remembering to fill out forms is tough. It's boring, It's annoying. That's where you come in! Make sure your friends know where to go to order their ballot and how to fill it in and send it back. We have links to the absentee applications in all 50 states in our state voting guides.

 

Two Weeks Before Any Election Day

 

Make sure your team knows where their polling places are.

Our state voting guides have links to each state’s voter registration and polling location lookup site.

Send links to voter information guides and other candidate info.

If it’s a big election with lots of offices up for reelection, you might want to make a cheat sheet. Some of your friends will want voter information to make their own decisions, but others may trust that you share their values and simply want to know who you, as an informed voter, are voting for. Give people whatever info is most likely to make them show up at the polls.

 

The Week Before Any Election

 

make sure anybody on your team who ordered a mail-in or absentee ballot has sent it in or has plans to.

Offer to help them research any races they aren’t sure about so they can get their ballots in quickly.

Get your team’s voting plans.

Ask your friends what time of day they plan to vote on Election Day and how they’ll get to the polls. It may seem silly but having the logistics worked out is proven to increase a person's chance of voting!

Hit social media Every Day to remind people that an election is coming up.

Encourage your team to share posts about election day as well. There is no such thing as too many reminders to vote.

On Election Day

Text your team in the morning with the polling hours in your state, and let them know you’re available to answer questions beforehand or once they get there.

Voting is not school – you’re allowed to phone a friend at any point in the process!

Make sure that anybody who needs help getting to the polls is taken care of.

This means ensuring people have transportation, know their rights at the office (everybody is entitled to two hours off to vote if the polls for at least two hours outside of their work day), and have their childcare needs taken care of. If you are in a position to, advocate for the people at your office who are too nervous to approach the boss about getting time off to vote.

Document your own visit to the polls on social media and tag your team.

Follow up!

Make sure everybody on your team personally confirms that they voted, either via an “I Voted” selfie on social, a text, or an email.

Election Night

Time to celebrate!

If you can, watch the results with friends and discuss how you feel about the results! Ask them what you could all do better next time to get even more people to the polls.

Toot your own horn.

Post your success on social media to let people know what you did to get people to the polls! Include specifics so people can incorporate them into their own outreach work next time!

 
 
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Even when your favorite candidates don’t win, a Vote Captain always get the satisfaction of a job well done.  

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Things to Do All Year

Excited to be a part of making change? Here are some other things to do even when it’s not election time:

 

1.

Spend some time every day reading, watching, or listening to the news.

Being up on current events won’t take up much of your time, plus a lot of people you think are boring are actually making really hilarious current events jokes you just don’t get. That’s sad for you.

2.

Help keep your team informed all year.

Do the research so other people don't have to, and help your friends identify causes they care about. Being invested in something - literally anything - makes people infinitely more likely to vote.  

3.

Know how to contact your Congressmen and Senators.

Hold your representatives accountable and help your team do the same! You and everybody you know can call, email, or visit them at any time regarding any issue.