I want to use my time.

Small chunks of time can have a huge impact.

These actions are organized from the smallest to largest amount of time needed. Fit in what you can. Let's make every minute count.

  ACTION #1  
Join a "Polling Place Vote Tripling" effort

Estimated time:   ⌚︎ 5 hours or more

Why it matters:   This may be the single most effective way we've found to help increase voter turnout. Your role is volunteering at a target Polling Location on Early Voting Days and/or Election Day and asking people to text their friends as they leave their polling place. The organizers have done detailed research on which Polling Locations to prioritize, refined the materials, and written clear guidance and instructions to make this practice optimally effective. One trial in Ohio showed an 8-point increase in turnout among people who received these texts.
  1. Determine whether you can be available on Election Day or any Early Voting days: If you don't need to work or care for others on Election Day, please consider participating in this way. Research shows Polling Place Vote Tripling is likely the most effective way we can increase voter turnout. Look at your schedule and compare it to the in-person voting dates in your state—and any swing states nearby that you could get to.
  2. Sign-up for a Vote Tripling effort near youSign up on this page, which shows the dates and metro areas where Vote Tripling is being organized. This includes metro areas in 10 priority states (AZ, GA, FL, MI, MN, NC, OH, PA, TX, WI). IMPORTANT: When you sign up for a volunteer shift, don't forget to also sign up for Webinar and Training times, which are linked in the event details of each sign-up page.
  3. Attend the Webinar and Training you signed up for: Together, these will give you 2 hours of total preparation, which are critical to successfully implement this approach.
  4. Show up with PPE and enthusiasm: You'll be assigned a specific Polling Place at least a few days before your shift. Show up on time, with PPE, food and water to keep yourself going, and lots of positive energy to engage voters.
  5. Text the info to someone in a priority area: If you know anyone in the 10 priority states (AZ, GA, FL, MI, MN, NC, OH, PA, TX, WI), please text them to ask if they know about "Polling Place Vote Tripling." Send them the same sign-up link as above and ask if they'd be down to join one of the locations in their state.
  6. OPTIONAL: If you're interested in organizing your own "Polling Place Vote Tripling" in other communities, visit VoteTripling.org and email them some background information on yourself.
  ACTION #2  
Share personal stories through "deep canvassing" on the phone

Estimated time:   ⌚︎ 3 hours or more

Why it matters:   "Deep Canvassing" is what democracy is all about: talking with fellow citizens not about policies or issues or talking points or opinions or data, but about their lives and yours. It's been proven 102X more effective than the average presidential persuasion phone banking, and it's far more personally memorable for everyone involved. It can be surprising how willing people are to open up to you when you open up to them—even over the phone. Many people end up talking with you for 20, 30, 40 minutes or more. And they're exactly the individuals who will determine the outcome of this election.

  1. Sign up for a time slot that works for you: People's Action organizes daily Deep Canvassing sessions here. Each one starts with a training, so all you have to do is show up on time, ready to spend 3 hours. (Don't worry, you can take breaks whenever you want.)
  2. If you can, spend 20 minutes beforehand: Watch this 12-Minute Deep Canvass Training Video and spend 8 minutes thinking about how this election will impact you personally, then write it down using this template. This preparation will make you far more effective on calls straight off the bat.
  3. Click the Zoom and Slack links in the calendar invite they send you: Make sure you have these two apps downloaded to your computer. Everything else you need will be shared on your first Zoom call. And don't worry, you won't be using your own phone number to call. : )
  ACTION #3  
Join a "text bank" to help get out the vote in your free moments

Estimated time:   ⌚︎ 30 minutes or more

Why it matters:   Election Day isn't a national holiday in the U.S., so many people have to work that day. Due to the pandemic, many people's voting process will be different this year than past elections. Helping people make a plan to vote, reminding them to vote, and getting them to remind their family and friends to vote will be critical to ensuring their voices are heard. And even via text, personal responsiveness is far more effective than "text bots" that don't always choose appropriate responses. Some of these can get 10-20% response rates, which means together we can talk to millions of people in states that were decided by only thousands of votes in 2016.

  1. Sign up for a day that works for you: Open Progress organizes daily sessions for texting voters in key swing states. Pick a day that works for you—Saturday Oct 31 and Monday Nov 2 are most in need to extra hands right now.
  2. Join the Open Progress Slack Channel for instructions: Click this link to join. Then follow the 2-step instructions they will send you in the #welcome channel. The second step is reading 20 slides that explain everything you need to know.
  3. Get started using the texting platform they train you on: When specific state campaigns open, you'll be able to join and "Request" texts to send as part of that campaign. Then just tap the button to send each text and initiate contact. Whenever anyone replies, it will show in your dashboard. You'll need to pay attention closely for ~30 minutes because that's when the bulk of replies happen—then just check in any time you have a few minutes throughout the day to respond to any new messages you've gotten back.
  ACTION #4  
Volunteer as a Poll Observer (or Poll Watcher)

Estimated time:   ⌚︎ 1-20 days, depending on how many in-person voting days there are in your state

Why it matters:   Restrictions on poll monitoring activity have been lifted for the first presidential election since 1980. The restrictions that are no longer in place were originally introduced because of voter intimidation implemented by the Republican Party in 1981. Now the current president is taking advantage of the looser restrictions to encourage and organize his supporters to aggressively question other voters at the polls. There are still strict laws around Poll Observing and watching—so only do this through an official organization that can properly train you on local regulations and rules—but your presence will enable quick reporting of any issues and help instill confidence in voters that could be deterred by these intimidation efforts.

  1. Sign up to be a Poll Observer on JoeBiden.com: Visit this page on JoeBiden.com to sign up as a Poll Observer. Check the box that says "I want to protect voting rights at the polls during in person voting." Follow their guidance. Be sure to only do this through JoeBiden.com, your state's Democratic Party, or another official organization that can properly train you on local regulations and rules. After signing up on JoeBiden.com, expect a text or email with details. They may ask specifically about any professional legal training you might have, but don't let that deter you: they've been equally thrilled finding volunteers without any legal training.
  2. Keep your eyes open while you're near polls: While you're casting your ballot, keep an eye out for anyone intimidating or scaring voters.
  3. Report anyone intimidating or scaring voters: Call this nonpartisan voter protection hotline. They will talk you through the appropriate course of action.

    English: 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)

    Spanish: 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (1-888-839-8682)

    Arabic: 1-844-YALLA-US (1-844-925-5287)

    Bengali, Cantonese, Hindi, Urdu, Korean, Mandarin, Tagalog or Vietnamese: 1-888-API-VOTE (1-888-274-8683)
  ACTION #5  
Apply to be a Poll Worker

Estimated time:   ⌚︎ 1-20 days, depending on how many in-person voting days there are in your state

Why it matters:   Poll Workers are critically important but in most states you can only serve in this way in the state or even the county where you reside. If you don't live in a battleground or swing state, we suggest considering Polling Place Vote Tripling (outlined above) first. If you need or would prefer to stay in your own district on Early Voting Days and Election Day, serving as a Poll Worker is a fantastic and generous way to contribute to (and learn more about) democracy—particularly this year: "America is facing a record shortage of poll workers this year due to the coronavirus. Our democracy depends on ordinary people who make sure elections run smoothly and everyone's vote is counted. You can make sure we have a safe, fair, efficient election for all." -PowerThePolls.org (we couldn't say it better ourselves)

  1. Find local Poll Worker needs on PowerThePolls.org: If you're able to take off work on Tuesday, November 3 or any Early Voting days in your state, fill out this simple form on PowerThePolls.org. It will give you information specific to your zip code for how to become a Poll Worker in your community. In most states and counties, you need to be a local resident to serve as a Poll Worker, so this will help you find where you're eligible.
  2. Apply to be a Poll Worker: Click the button provided on PowerThePolls.org to apply.
  3. Complete your training: Poll Worker training is one of the most direct ways to understand the practical implementation of our democracy. As a citizen, it made me feel more connected to my community. As a Poll Worker, it taught me information and processes that I'll need on Election Day and Early Voting days.
  4. Show up on the day(s) you're assigned: These are likely to be long days. In many states, you'll work from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. without leaving, so pack lunch, snacks, water, an external battery pack, a mask, and hand sanitizer. Thank you for helping ensure a fair and safe democracy.
  5. Consider donating your Poll Worker wages: Most Poll Worker roles are paid. Many people who typically serve as Poll Workers are older, and have understandably opted out this year for their own health—at the sacrifice of these wages. If you already have a job or are otherwise financially secure, consider donating your wages (in advance, if you can) to one of the organizations on our "I want to contribute my money" page.
  ACTION #6  
Write letters to voters on the fence [PAST DEADLINE]

Estimated time:   ⌚︎ 20-60 minutes (plus 5-12 days to receive supplies)

Why it matters:   Sending letters to potential voters has been shown to increase turnout by 1-4%. That's more than enough to change the outcome of many seats.

  1. Sign up for VoteFwd.org: Visit VoteFwd.org and sign up. It will take 1 day for you to be approved.
  2. Order pre-stamped envelopes: You'll need to supply your own stamps and envelopes. If you have some on-hand, use those. If not, order these pre-stamped envelopes from the USPS. They're perfect for the job.
  3. Watch this 3-minute training video: This video shows you everything you'll need to know and do. Watch the video and complete all the steps laid out—including adopting your first 5-20 voters.
  4. Adopt 5 or 20 voters to start with: You can select a campaign to select the voters from. Each campaign is defined by a state and the circumstance of the voters. Go with a state you feel will make the biggest impact in this year's election or the one you feel the most personal connection with.
  5. Print the provided letter templates at home or via FedEx Office: If you don't have a printer, you can print from your computer to FedEx Cloud Printing. You can even choose to have the print-outs delivered to your door. (Choose black & white and it's only $0.13 per letter.)
  6. Write a high-impact personal message: After reviewing extensive research about what language motivates action most, we suggest completing the "I vote because..." section with a message that speaks to one of these themes:

    "I remember watching my parents vote when I was a kid and feeling inspired that they got to help pick our local (and even national) leaders."

    "Most people are voters, and I don't want anyone else to speak for me."

    "Voting makes me feel like I took part in something that matters. Like I'm part of history. The names of who votes are even publicly recorded."
  7. Mail your letters on Saturday October 17, 2020: Timing is important, and this date is optimal given current USPS speed and impact on turnout.

I also want to use my . . .

Thanks for everything you're doing.

Send an email any time to hello@smalltogethernow.com. : )

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