How do I update Contact info when someone has moved?
We do not have the capacity to be internally updating Contact details on a voter to Voter basis due to the sheer volume of calls we make. Volunteers are welcome to follow up with voters if asked, but it’s up to you.
I’m getting many broken numbers, and a lot of voicemails. Is this normal
Yes, this is very normal. Please remember that leaving voicemails is very effective, and a core part of our campaign strategy.
A voter has asked to be removed from our list. How do I do so?
Marking a voter as “Refused” will remove them from our list.
What if a voter asks me who I’m planning to vote for (or any other partisan question)
Emphasize that we are a non-partisan organization, so we do not endorse specific candidates or parties. However, if they would like a voter guide, the League of Women Voters offers one, and they are also a non-partisan organization.
The voicemail recording was clearly someone else. How should I code this?
Leave a message as usual, for the intended voter. The recording you hear could have been left by a room mate or relative who lives with the voter.
How do I access the phone banks?
It sounds like you need training! If you are not on a Monday Training Zoom Meeting, you need to read and watch these materials before joining a group phonebank. We recommend attending the next Monday Training session, but if you don’t want to wait that long, watch the video and read the Phonebank Guidelines before you proceed.
IF you have been sent any zoom link other than the Monday Training, please remind the sender that additional volunteers should first sign up before attending a zoom session.
The URLs we are sending out are long. Isn’t there a better option?
Here is the reason phone banks are using votinginformation.org as a URL shortener instead of Bit.ly or Tinyurl.com to redirect voters:
While it looks longer “on paper,” (and for that reason, we still use bit.ly for postcarding,) voting information contains two very recognizable words, and as such, does not need to be spelled out for voters on the phone. This actually makes it faster to say than “bee eye tee dot ell why” or “Tiny You Are ELL dot com” - and less vulnerable to bad enunciation or poor quality voicemail recordings. It’s also hosted by us, so we have the added flexibility of changing up redirects on the fly.
So as a result it is shorter to say, more accurate, more content-relevant, and more trackable than the alternatives.
The available domains that were shorter were much less relevant to our mission, or more abstract which would have led to more confusion.
When can I access the phone banks?
Our virtual phone banks are open 9am-9pm for the state that they call into, 7 days a week. Feel free to call into them any time. You do not need to wait for a group phonebank session.
How do we communicate the importance of voting without being partisan?
For voters that are not enthusiastic about our presidential options, remind the voter that down ballot races are very important, and that the top of the ticket is not the only thing that matters. Not only that, but the voter will have much more influence over local elections.
How do I print out the script?
Press control-p (or command - p on a Mac) in your web browser when you are on the script page.
Where do we get our data and voter lists?
We get our data from variety of sources. Often we get our data from the NAACP for the states we call into, as they are a partner organization.
What happens when someone's voicemail is full?
Mark that as "not home"
Why is it necessary to "reclaim the vote" of voters of color?
States whose voting laws were, until Shelby v. Holder in 2013, subject to preclearance under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, purged their voter rolls in the period 2016-2018 at a 40% higher rate than other states (analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice, August 1, 2019). It's not a coincidence that most of those "preclearance" states also have a high percentage of voters of color. Voters of color are more likely to be purged in some states; they are also more likely to face other barriers to the polls.
How are you reaching de-registered voters of color?
Voters who have been de-registered are still listed in the voter rolls for a certain period of time. ROV volunteers are sending postcards and phonebanking to ask de-registered voters of color to check their registration status and re-register if necessary.
Are you also contacting registered voters of color?
Of course! We do everything we can to increase turnout among voters of all ages. ROV volunteers phonebank into voter suppression states for all the major elections, and for many important special elections and off-year elections as well, asking already-registered voters of color to turn out at election time. We sometimes offer rides to the polls, polling place and early-voting information, and a special online site to report polling place issues.
Do you work in partnership with other organizations?
We work with the North Carolina NAACP, Black Voters Matter, Mi Familia Vota, Resistance Labs, DemLabs and other national organizations, and our partner list keeps growing. Also, we often find local groups that are doing serious outreach to voters of color on the ground in our target states, and partner with them.
What are your goals and target states for the November 2020 election?
Our major goal is to increase turnout among voters of color by at least 20% compared to 2016, in at least six states where voters of color comprise more than 20% of the population. Our criteria for choosing to work in a state: (1) 20% or more voters of color, (2) significant electoral votes, (3) a Senate seat in play. Our target states for the 2020 election are Arizona, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas.
Do you have a track record of success? I need to see some statistics about your impact.
Put simply, yes.
Of 79,000 voters we contacted for Georgia's June primary, 72% voted, almost 1/3 were first time primary voters, and almost all of them voted absentee and avoided the long lines on Election Day!
52-55% of our calls (live contacts and voicemails) in North Carolina and Virginia in 2019 resulted in votes.
In 2019, 20-25% of the de-registered voters we postcarded in one test county in North Carolina's 3rd Congressional District registered to vote before the September special election in that district.
65% of our calls (live contacts and voicemails) in the Georgia Black Belt resulted in votes in 2018.
85% of our calls (live contacts and voicemails) in the Alabama Black Belt resulted in votes in Alabama's December 2017 special election.
What are you doing about young voters of color? Are you reaching out to them?
Yes. Using both brand new and tried-and-true voter outreach techniques, Reclaim Our Vote will contact hundreds of thousands of young people and encourage them to vote in record numbers.
Do you canvas?
No. Covid has complicated in-person canvassing.
Isn't the Democratic Party already reaching out in a big way to voters of color?
No--some lip service, but no serious get-out-the-vote efforts, particularly in low-income rural counties. We try to focus on more meaningful, impactful, systemic change to historically suppressed communities of color.
What about Fair Fight Action, Stacey Abrams' group? Are you working with them?
They are mostly fighting in the courts against unfair voting laws in Georgia and other states. They and the ACLU, Common Cause and other organizations are doing essential work. We are fighting voter suppression one voter at a time, by registering and turning out large numbers of underrepresented voters in several states.
If I sign up to join ROV, will I be flooded with emails every week? I'm already on so many lists!
No. We only send at the most, one email every couple of weeks. Join us at: bit.ly/reclaimourvote
How can I donate to Reclaim Our Vote?
Donate at bit.ly/rov2020donate
I'm interested in keeping my phone number private, what are my options?
While we recommend dialing using your real number, because people generally don't encounter any problems related to that, the next best option is Google Voice.
Here is a document about phone banking using Google Voice. We do not currently have the resources for tech support with Google Voice beyond this document.
As a white person, is it appropriate for me to call people of color and tell them to vote? It feels paternalistic.
We are calling voters of color in these states in an effort to combat the systemic racism that has caused them to be disenfranchised in such large numbers.
We are in no way telling these voters who or what to vote for, or even what method they should use - only making sure they know all of their options, and providing accurate information about the circumstances surrounding each option, which sometimes comes in the form of a recommendation.
The work itself is critical, and the more volunteers we have, the greater our impact on this important civil rights issue.
Furthermore, Reclaim Our Vote and the Center for Common Ground are both POC-led organizations. (We take our cues from Andrea Miller, our director, who is a Black woman).