WHEN WE VOTE, WE WIN
10 GREAT TOOLS AND SITES THAT YOU CAN USE TO HELP ELECT DEMS THIS NOVEMBER
Are you looking for ways to help elect Democrats in key races this November? Here is a list of tools and websites developed and being used by innovative groups, campaigns, and activists across the country to use technology for a bigger impact.
Download this toolkit as a PDF Version.
1. Looking to connect with a flippable district? | Swingleft.org
Founded in the wake of the 2016 election, Swing Left has grown into a grassroots movement of hundreds of thousands of people across the country. It is focused on regaining control of the House in 2018, which will be decided by a small number of Swing Districts – places where the last election was decided by a thin margin (see interactive map).
Swing Left helps individuals connect with campaigns in flippable districts — even at a distance. Anyone can use this easy tool to make a difference where it is needed most. Once you join a Swing District Team, you will learn more about the district and have opportunities to fundraise, spread the word on social media, phone bank, canvass, volunteer, attend events, and more. On July 17, Swing Left and 22 other progressive organizations announced a project to mobilize 1,000,000 volunteer hours the weekend before the November 2018 elections (to sign up, go to thelastweekend.org/wndc).
2. Want to help register high school students? | Capgownvote.org
Cap, Gown, Vote!, a program created by Let America Vote, is working with mayors, students, and activists around the country to increase high school voter registration. This toolkit is a resource you can use if you are a student who would like to assist your peers to register to vote or if you are an activist who wants to increase the number of young people participating in our democracy. The toolkit includes general information about the program, frequently asked questions, and talking points about youth participation in elections.
3. Check registration status, register to vote, and remind voters! | Vote.org
Vote.org is a nonpartisan organization committed to increasing registration and turn-out of “low propensity voters” combining new technology with more traditional approaches. In 2017, Vote.org ran massive campaigns in Virginia and Alabama, targeting low-propensity voters of color using SMS, outdoor advertising (billboards and transit ads), digital radio, and direct mail.
Individuals, campaigns, and/or organizations can use Vote.org to check a voter’s registration status, register them if they are not already registered, get absentee ballots, send voter information, and remind voters about key voting deadlines. The homepage also has links to every state election center with information about specific voter ID laws, polling locations, and more. Vote.org’s widget is used by many organizations – such as the Tennessee Democratic Party. Looking forward, Vote.org is seeking to integrate directly with state APIs wherever possible so that they can print, mail, fax, and email forms for voters.
4. Support nonpartisan campaigns to register voters | Rockthevote.org
Rock the Vote is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization founded by musicians and dedicated to increasing the political power of young people. Its suite of online tools has been used to register over 7 million voters. The suite includes a voter registration lookup tool, election reminders, voting rights information, and voting information by state. Rock the Vote is easy to use, and users can register to vote in under two minutes where states allow. Organizations can add the free Rock the Vote widget to their own website. As an example, Voterise.org used Rock the Vote tools plus text reminders and other action to register voters in Utah and achieve a greater than 70% turnout in 2016. Activists have a range of ways that they can take action with Rock the Vote or through one of the many nonpartisan organizations’ voter registration drives that are powered by this suite of tools:
5. Connect with more voters through friend-to-friend outreach | VoterCircle.com
VoterCircle is a powerful and easy to use friend-to-friend outreach platform that enables supporters of any cause or campaign to utilize their personal address books to identify and connect with eligible voters. VoterCircle offers tools like a one-click email sign-up feature to enable your canvassers to quickly invite their friends to join the campaign’s email list and leverage their personal relationships to benefit your campaign’s grassroots fundraising activities, boost your campaign’s messaging, and increase voter turnout. This tool allows volunteers to digitally canvass their friends from the comfort of their own home on their own schedule.
“VoterCircle’s role in the campaign was invaluable for increasing voter turnout in our targeted demographics…” David Yankovich, Digital Campaign Manager, Doug Jones for Senate
“We integrated VoterCircle into our field program and had over 700 canvassers send out personal messages to over 20,000 voters.” Dylan Cate, Deputy Campaign Manager, Brady Walkinshaw for US Congress (WA)
6. Want to volunteer or find volunteers for a Democratic campaign? | MobilizeAmerica.io
MobilizeAmerica connects Democratic campaigns with volunteers across the country. It offers a comprehensive toolkit for campaigns that allows them to recruit, organize, and mobilize volunteers for things such as campaign events or phone banking. As a volunteer, you can use the platform to connect with high-impact opportunities near you and it allows you to easily sign up for shifts that work with your schedule.
MobilizeAmerica is striving to maximize the amount of time that Democratic candidates can focus on running effective campaigns by streamlining the process for mobilizing and empowering volunteers.
“I couldn’t have won this election without the grassroots power MobilizeAmerica helped build, and couldn’t be more grateful for having had the chance to work with such an awesome team of folks.”– Danica Roem, Virginia Delegate
7. Looking for ways to mobilize voters and optimize the use of volunteers? | Hustle.com
Hustle helps campaigns and organizations reach large groups of voters by sending tailored text messages straight to their phones. Growing evidence across many campaigns shows that texting is much more effective at reminding and mobilizing voters than emails or paper mailings. It is also more efficient: one volunteer can text 1500 people per hour (compared to 200 phone calls per day). Currently used by 300 campaigns and 35 Democratic state parties, Hustle is a tool that can be integrated with voting platforms such as NGP VAN, voter registration tools such as Vote.org, and audience tools such as TargetSmart (Cost is based on audience and volume of messaging).
“Hustle has fundamentally altered the way we organize at ODP. The tool has allowed us to maximize our most valuable resource of all: time. Every constituent conversation should start with a Hustle.” Greg Beswick, Ohio Democratic Party
8. Want a way to fundraise for your Democratic campaign or organization? | ActBlue.com
Click on the DONATE button on Katie Porter or Jacky Rosen’s websites – recently profiled by WNDC’s Candidate Watch — and you will be connected to ActBlue’s secure website. ActBlue is a nonprofit, building fundraising technology with a mission to democratize power and help small-dollar donors make their voices heard in a real way. Since it was founded 14 years ago, ActBlue has been used to raise $2,497 billion for Democrats and progressive causes. A majority of Democratic Senate and House campaigns — along with the DCCC, DSCC, DGA, individual campaigns, and advocacy organizations around the country — have used ActBlue. It helps campaigns and organizations set up a fundraising page, put a DONATE button on their website, process donations, and automatically do required reporting. There is no charge to set up; ActBlue charges a small percentage of funds donated. If you’d like to create a personal fundraising page for your favorite candidate, here are the instructions.
“In Virginia specifically, state and local campaigns raised over $12 million in 2017 from over 200K contributions made by small-dollar donors using ActBlue. And that’s compared to over $3.4 million raised from 33K contributions in Virginia’s state and local elections in 2015. (Note: There was not a VA governor’s race in 2015.)… 100% of the challengers who beat Republican incumbents in Virginia used ActBlue to raise small-dollar donations and build their campaigns from the bottom up.”
9. Help protect voters’ rights | 866ourvote.org
A national, nonpartisan coalition, Election Protection works year-round to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to vote and have that vote count. It sponsors a suite of digital and other tools:
If you are interested in volunteering, check out Election Protection’s website: www.866ourvote.org/volunteer
10. Want to help level the playing field? | democraticredistricting.com
This is a critical election year for redistricting because it is the first cycle where the officials elected will serve during the redistricting process in 2021. The National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), initiated by President Obama and Eric Holder, is “the centralized hub for executing a comprehensive redistricting strategy that shifts the redistricting power, creating fair districts where Democrats can compete.”
The NDRC is targeting 12 states during the 2018 election cycle, including 10 gubernatorial races, 19 legislative chambers, 3 ballot initiatives, and 6 down-ballot races. NDRC has seven additional states on its Watch List. The site has a wealth of information about activities in the target states and opportunities to get involved in this critical issue www.democraticredistricting.com/get-involved.
We welcome your feedback on this toolkit! Let us know which tool(s) you found useful. Are there others that we should know about? Have you shared it with others? Write us at GOTVWNDC@gmail.com.
This E-tool Kit has been compiled by WNDC Member Pamela Johnson and Intern Josette Barrans, with the GOTV Committee, Melinda Burrell, Chair.