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  • Frank Cervarich

Your 2020 Guide to Get Out the Vote


Close your eyes. No, really. Close your eyes. Imagine that you are waking up on November 4, 2020 and you have just learned that Donald Trump has been re-elected president. How do you feel? What would you be willing do to prevent this from happening?

If you’re like many Americans, the answer is: I would do anything to make this stop.

The election is less than a week away. We have officially transitioned into the penultimate phase of the campaign cycle: GOTV, or, Get Out the Vote. GOTV is traditionally considered to run the final four days in an election cycle. Typically, that means Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.

In a “normal” year, in the early to mid campaign cycle, campaigns will run voter contact initiatives that vary in size and targets. Canvassing efforts are used to build the “universe of voters,” meaning the collection of voters who are willing to vote for a given candidate. By GOTV (an abbreviation that inspires a sort of joy and terror into campaign staffers and volunteers), the campaign has formally transitioned away from persuasion to speaking only to voters who likely will vote for the candidate. The purpose is to make sure that voters know the day of the election, polling places, hours, when voters plan to go, and if voters have a way of getting to their polling locations. The purpose is not to convince people to vote for your candidate - ideally, the voter being contacted has already been contacted by the campaign and does not need to be persuaded.

So, if you’re like me, you’ve already been persuaded. Heck, you may have already voted. And now, you want to wake up on November 4, 2020 with a President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Are you willing to do whatever it takes to make that change happen?

If you are, keep reading.

This is your how-to guide for the next few days. No game plan? No worries. If you have a few hours to spare for the cause, here’s how to get to work electing Democrats across the country:

(Full disclosure: I am a long-term volunteer for an organization called Swing Left. Swing Left is dedicated to flipping state houses, Senate seats, and electoral votes for Democrats in 2020. Swing Left has been my primary source of information for volunteer efforts.)

Thursday, October 29

  • DTMG Battleground Phonebook - 1 to 3pm – Do The Most Good MoCo is one of the premier volunteer organizations in the DC region. Join them for a phonebank to battleground states on Thursday from 1 to 3pm while on your lunch break or instead of watching the lunchtime programming on CNN.

  • Swing Left Call Night – 5:30 to 8:00 pm – Swing Left’s Call Night is one of the most substantial volunteer opportunities available. From 5:30 to 8pm, folks from around the country will be dialing to high-priority states. Once you’re done, you’ll have plenty of time to catch the kickoff for the Thursday night football game, or you can rest up before season two of The Mandalorian kicks off on Disney+ at midnight.

Friday, October 30

Saturday, October 31

  • Happy Halloween (or, should I say, CALL-o-ween)! Do you want to know the scariest thing of all? Four more years of Donald Trump in the White House! Are you terrified? Me too! Good thing that there are two excellent opportunities to turn out the vote in key battleground states all weekend long.

  • Want to make calls to North Carolina? Makes sense – there’s a Senate seat, electoral votes, and a state house up for grabs! Click here to join a shift!

  • Want to make calls to Pennsylvania? I get it – lots of people are calling Pennsylvania the state that will swing the election (lots of electoral votes and state house up for grabs). Click here to find a shift!

Sunday, November 1

Monday, November 2

Tuesday, November 3

Anytime:

  • Looking for a way to ring a few voters and make sure that they are going to follow through? Look no further than here, Swing Left’s phone bank hub.

Wednesday, November 4

Thank you all for whatever you are able to contribute! Together we can change our country, our society, and our future.

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