Campaign Volunteer Roles for the People Person

edt-obama-phone-bankIn an earlier blog entry, I answered a question for Larry, who wanted to volunteer on a local campaign but he likes to work independently. Today, I want to present a couple of assignments for the people person.

Phone Banking & Door Knocking

Let’s get real; it’s all about winning.

The candidate wants to know who is going to vote for them on Election Day. Two ways candidates gather information is through phone banking and door knocking.

What’s phone banking?

A group of volunteers gathers at a location: campaign office, a person’s home or community center to call eligible voters in a specific area. A list of eligible voters and a script on what to say to voters will be supplied to you by the campaign. Now, you may think you know best what to say but trust the campaign and read the script as written.

Many years ago, volunteers would go expecting to use campaign phones during phone banking but volunteers are expected to use their cell phones in order to save the campaign some money.

Now, your next volunteer assignment will take you to the streets: door knocking. Face it; many people will not answer their phone, if they don’t recognize the telephone number. Surprisingly, people will respond to a friendly face at the door wearing a campaign tee-shirt.

You use a script just like a volunteer, who is phone banking but you should not be seen reading the script at the door, so must practice.

You want to know the script like it’s your favorite rap lyric. If you don’t prepare you could cost your candidate a vote. Can you imagine going to a concert and you see the MC on stage reading from a sheet of paper and sounding like they are reading it for the first time; it would be painful.

So, I say it again; you want to practice. After you are prepared, you and your partner will go to your assigned neighborhood and work your route. The first time you go, you will be nervous but after that fifth door, you will be a pro.

The important part of phone banking and door knocking is getting information from the voter about who they plan to support in the upcoming election.

You gather that information and take it back to the campaign office. Now, if the person isn’t home you will leave campaign information behind and make a note so the house will be a priority for the next volunteer.

So, are you ready to make a call or knock on a door for a local candidate of your choice?

By Tara J., the advocate with a hip hop twist