I could end this entry with those two words: Vote early. Early voting will begin in several states very soon, and several states are already underway. You can turn out to the polls in Illinois, California, Minnesota, Maine, and several others all start voting. Just check your state’s voting rules. Voting early has two significant advantages and numerous minor advantages.
The most significant advantage is that by voting early you guarantee your vote gets in and that despite any potential problems that might make it difficult for you to vote on Election Day—like work schedules, illness, or weather—your vote will be counted.
The second may not sound as meaningful, but it is incredibly meaningful and not just for you the voter: When you vote, states keep track of who has voted and that information is often quickly dumped back into products like NGP. What does that mean? It means the earlier you vote, the earlier campaigns know there is no reason to call you. You have already cast your ballot. Your vote can’t be influenced or changed, and therefore your phone doesn’t ring. Before you think to yourself that this is just a petty victory that only serves yourself (and believe me, if I could prevent just my phone ringing that would be part of it), the truth is the less work campaign volunteers have to do, the better. Campaigns need to be able to reach as many voters as they can on the way to Election Day, and if they know they do not have to contact you, it gives them more time to contact other voters, increasing their ability to turn out the votes they need.
It’s a win-win.
It doesn’t happen instantly; if a campaign has printed paperwork, or they haven’t updated their voter file, they might still call you. Remember to be courteous. Most volunteers are unpaid and doing this because they care about our democracy. Respond to them in a courteous way that lets them know they can move on quickly. “Hi, I’m representing Martha Allen, running for Kansas House, and I want to make sure …” You: “She already has every vote in our household. Go get them!” And wait for an acknowledgement. Don’t hold a campaign worker on the phone for a long period of time. They have a lot to do. Don’t stress them out.
I often write Nuts & Bolts about what a campaign can and should do, but when I look at Connect! Unite! Act! this week, I just thought I’d take just a short second to talk about how we all can be better voters and help our campaigns.
Every week I tend to pose the question of what you’re doing to help the Democratic campaigns in your area. Maybe for this week, we answer a different question: What music gets you pumped up to get into an office and get fired up? Let me start: