Precinct Organizing

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Precinct Organizing

  1. 1. Starting in your own backyard
  2. 2. What is a “Precinct?”• Also known as ‘Electoral Districts’, ‘Towns’ or ‘Wards’• All voters have the same ballot and elected officials• Have a set number of voters• Have continuous boundaries
  3. 3. What is a “Precinct?” Smallest administrative electoral unitNation State District County Precinct
  4. 4. Campaigning and Party Building• Two types of precinct organizing – Campaign precinct organizing – Neighborhood precinct organizing or party building• Different goals & strategies• Both are important
  5. 5. Campaign Precinct Organizing• Short term: June through November of election years• Organized by campaign staff• Focused on winning a particular election• Centered around a candidate Campaign Organizing Strengths 1. Professionally staffed 2. Controlled message 3. Access to campaign resources (media, volunteers, etc)
  6. 6. Neighborhood Precinct Organizing• Long term: Not limited by election calendar• Focused on long range goals• Organized by local volunteers Neighborhood Organizing Strengths 1. Familiarity 2. Continuity 3. Access to community resources
  7. 7. A Mutually Beneficial Partnership Campaigns This• Bring an influx of money helps…and people• Get new people involvedlocally Neighborhood Precinct Organizations • Create a permanent Which volunteer pool benefits… • Build institutional knowledge about an area
  8. 8. Get Started• Know the players• Know the rules• Know the numbers• Set your goals
  9. 9. Know the Players • Existing precinct leaders • Local party officials • Local elected officials • Active local campaigns • Community leaders
  10. 10. Do the research• Election dates• Important deadlines• Precinct maps and boundaries• Polling locations• Party rules and by-laws
  11. 11. Know the Numbers • Voter registration • Voter turnout • Democratic performance • Other demographic info • Individual voter history
  12. 12. The Voter File• Voter File vs. Voter Roll• Usually available through the county or state party• Contains voter contact info and voting history• More effective if updated frequently
  13. 13. Setting Your Goals• Important first step – Focuses and motivates volunteers – Helps develop strategies, tactics and timelines – Helps gain institutional party support• Potential goals – Increase Democratic voter registration X% – Increase Democratic Performance X% – Get X% of district voters to vote early – Build a community of party activists
  14. 14. Setting Your GoalsGoal: Raise the Democratic Performance of my district from 20% to 33% Current Goal Registered Voters 1000 1050 Registered 300 350 Democrats Total precinct 500 600 turnout Total D Turnout 100 200 Democratic 20% 33% performance
  15. 15. Good AdviceThe only way I know howto organize people is totalk to one person, thentalk to another person,then talk to anotherperson… --César Chávez
  16. 16. Making a List First: Relational - Family, Friends, Neighbors• Start close to home — literally• Friends, co-workers, neighbors• Utilize social networks – The best recruiters are current volunteers Primary Motivation: Personal ties to the one asking
  17. 17. Making a List: Second: The Voter File• Contact info & voting history of your precinct• Which strangers on your block vote in every election?• Which ones vote in Democratic Primaries?• Bulk of your list Primary Motivation: Sense of civic or partisan duty
  18. 18. Making a List: Third: Public Displays of Affiliation• Look for signs, stickers, statements• Displays political passions publicly• Caution: It’s easier to wear a button than to act on it Primary Motivation Passion for an issue or candidate
  19. 19. Let’s Get Together• Community is about face time – See each other – See the context – See the plan• Invite your list over – Lit drop invitations to your list – Call to follow up – Informal, intimate, neighborly setting to gather
  20. 20. Delegate!• Invest your team members into the plan Common Precinct Roles• Ask each person for an • Block Captain individual commitment • Data Director • Research Director• People can take on • Early Vote Coordinator multiple roles • Poll Captain • Social Chair• Everyone belongs to a block team
  21. 21. Always Be Recruiting Build volunteer recruitment into all your precinct activities– Canvassing– Socials– Conduct new recruitment drives every 6months
  22. 22. Keep Them Coming Back• Your team is valuable — Let them know!• Always provide the context for any action• Specific tasks and clear goals• Keep it social, keep it fun Remember what motivated them to come the first time.

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