How to GOTV
Get out the vote (GOTV) is the most important part of every election cycle. It’s how you can set your campaign up for success on Election Day by turning out as many supporters as possible. In this Campaign Chat, our new video content series where we talk to campaign professionals about their areas of expertise, we are excited to hear from Caitlin Mitchell, Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at NGP VAN, about how to get out the vote!
How to GOTV | Campaign Chat with Caitlin Mitchell
Hi everyone. I’m Caitlin Mitchell, and I’m the SVP of Strategic Initiatives at NGP VAN. Previously, I was the president of Mobilize, and before that, I worked on the Biden, Warren, and Obama presidential campaigns. I’ve spent most of my career working to organize and mobilize voters across the country. Today, we’re going to be talking about GOTV. What it is, why it’s important, and how our tools can help you achieve your GOTV goals.
What is GOTV?
So first up, what’s GOTV? GOTV, which stands for “get out the vote,” is the most important time of an election cycle. This is when a campaign is focused on getting as many voters as possible to vote for its candidate or cause. Typically, a campaign will pull together a list of its most likely voters. As Election Day gets closer, make sure those voters have everything they need to make it to the polls and vote.
When is GOTV?
With vote by mail and early voting becoming the preferred way for many people to vote, the GOTV period of a campaign is now longer than ever before, and that is a good thing. By making sure folks vote early and by mail, a candidate can both bank early votes for their campaign and remove supporters from their contact lists of who they need to turn out.
Why is it important?
So, why is it important to GOTV? Simply, it’s how you win. If someone indicates they’re supporting your candidate or cause, you want to make sure they show that support at the ballot box. By getting out the vote, you set yourself up for victory on Election Day.
How does NGP VAN help get out the vote?
So, how do you use NGP VAN to get out the vote? Great question. First, pull a list of all your supporters in VAN and contact them through whatever channels are best for them. Canvassing, phone calls, text messages, social media–these are all effective for reaching different audiences. If you can encourage your supporters to vote early once a supporter has shared that they’re voting for you, you can remove them from your contact list and, moving forward, to make sure you’re focusing your time and resources on the people who haven’t voted yet.
What should you ask people who have already voted?
You then have the opportunity to make a volunteer ask. You can ask those folks who have already voted to sign up for a GOTV shift and help others vote as well.
How does NGP VAN help with GOTV?
So, how does NGP VAN help with GOTV? VAN holds all the information you need to get out the vote. It allows you to contact all the people who’ve indicated they support your campaign through multiple methods. VAN also allows you to maximize your efforts and organize your supporters either based on the strength of their support or how likely they are to vote. You want to encourage your supporters to vote early. VAN allows you to pull reports of people who live close to an early voting location. Vote by mail, VAN also allows you to pull lists of voters who have requested ballots to be mailed to them, but haven’t returned them yet. You can check out our NGP VAN blog to find more information on how to bank votes early for your campaign.
How does Mobilize help get out the vote?
And last, but certainly not least, how does Mobilize help get out the vote? Mobilize is the platform that allows you to seamlessly schedule GOTV events, while plugging into a network of more than 5 million existing volunteers. Built-in Mobilize automations take care of a lot of those routine tasks to save you time. Things like confirming volunteer attendance or asking volunteers to sign up for additional shifts. You can use Mobilize both to promote events hosted by others on your behalf or to ask other organizations to promote your events.
How does Mobilize promote GOTV events?
You can use Mobilize both to promote events hosted by others on your behalf or to ask other organizations to promote your events. Fun fact: about 15% of this year’s Mobilize RSVPs have come from cross-promotion. You can also encourage your supporters to invite a friend to join them and volunteer. That’s driven about 10% of Mobilize RSVPs this year.
How does Mobilize help find new volunteers during GOTV?
If you’re looking for new volunteers, Mobilize helps recruit volunteers into your GOTV efforts to maximize outreach in these last crucial weeks of the election with our home page and our weekly newsletter. And of course, Mobilize integrates seamlessly with VAN to collect volunteer information so you can come back to those volunteers next cycle and ask them to volunteer again. You can check out more tips on how to GOTV with Mobilize in our most recent webinar. And that’s it. If you have more questions, reach out to our support teams at either Mobilize or NGP VAN. Thanks for tuning in today, and happy GOTV.