By now, you’ve probably heard of a Get Out The Vote (GOTV) campaign? A GOTV campaign focuses on getting more citizens to the voting booth in every election. There are many grassroots and national campaigns working towards this goal and in 2014, Washington Post stated GOTV efforts resulted in 7 percent more voter turnout in targeted areas.
Every GOTV campaign has three main steps:
The voter registration process is complicated in many areas, but with proper information, citizens can become registered voters without a hitch. GOTV campaigns break down the registration process into the following:
Check Registration Status: If voters have voted before, they may be registered. However, most states require you to re-register in your region, so GOTV efforts point you towards the proper resources for checking your registration status.
Know Deadlines: You must claim your party affiliation and current address before a certain date. Some states allow same-day voter registration while other require you to register 6 months ahead of time.
Voter ID: Voter ID laws vary from region to region, so many GOTV provide lists of approved ID for various states.
Get Voters to the Polls
After citizens are registered to vote, they have to show up at the voting station and that is another GOTV battle. Again, the key is providing accurate information in a timely manner.
One of the main objectives it to make sure that voters know their voting location. Most voting stations are assigned based on your registered address. In most cases, your voting place should be close to your home. GOTV campaigns will also alert voters about voting station hours. Additionally, some GOTV campaigns either provide voting transport or make recommendations for public transit to aid citizens to the polls.
GOTV campaign websites will often offer election information to let voters know who’s running and what are their platforms.
Get Voters to Make Their Selection Via Absentee Ballots
Absentee ballots are reserved for registered voters who will be out of their state on Election Day. The rules for these ballots are a bit different and each task must be completed before the voting day.
In most cases, when you’re applying for an absentee ballot, you can select the proper reason (business trip, out of state college student, etc.) from a list, but GOTV campaigns make sure you understand the associated deadlines.
When you receive your ballot, your local GOTV can point you towards the right online portals, offices, and mailing addresses to request your ballot. GOTV campaigns always make sure you know the return deadline for returning your ballot because those dates are often pretty strict.
GOTV campaigns break down each major task to better focus their efforts. For every GOTV initiative in your area, they’ll have this information ready for you, so go ahead and ask them about voting.