Pictures & Canvassing 101

Canvassing 101

Door to door canvassing is the single most effective campaign tactic for persuading voters to support your cause and for motivating voters to turn out to vote. This is because the quick, face-to-face interactions are more memorable than impersonal communication like advertising or recorded phone calls.

Door to door canvassing is easy. At your canvass launch, you’ll meet a We Are Ohio organizer or other field staffer. They will have a sample script, which you can use to help guide your brief conversations, as well as some literature to give to voters and leave at the doors of those who are not home. You will also receive a list of voters and their addresses, a map of your walking area and directions from the launch location to your walking area. You’ll have the opportunity to ask any questions you have and get the cell phone number of your organizer in case questions come up while you are out in the neighborhood. Canvassing normally takes about 2 to 2.5 hours.

Door to door canvassing is something that just about anyone can do. You don’t need to be a policy expert or veteran campaign volunteer, because many of the very best canvass volunteers are folks who don’t get lost in arcane policy details. New canvassers can start out with experienced canvassers, going to the first doors together until you get the hang of it. Then, you can divide the neighborhood and each knock on doors on one side of the road or split up the streets and meet at the end.

Door to door canvassing is rewarding. There is nothing like walking away from a home and knowing that you’ve picked up a vote we would have never otherwise earned. Some voters don’t yet know that Issue 2 is Senate Bill 5, and many voters don’t know the basics of how Issue 2 is unsafe, unfair and hurts us all. You’ll probably even run into a few voters who don’t know that the election is this November.

Door to door canvassing is highly effective. Studies and scientifically rigorous research experiments show that canvassing is many times more effective than phone-banking or recorded calls and that volunteer, door-to-door canvassing can increase turnout by as much as 8%. In close elections, canvassing makes the difference. Asking family and friends to join you at a canvass is the best way to grow your door-to-door canvass team and make a significant difference in this campaign. There are 4 keys to building your team:

  • Call other members, personally, when you expect them to be home. Sending emails and leaving voicemail messages doesn’t hurt, but they rarely result in members agreeing to join you. You have to call them or speak to them in person.
  • Start by telling them about why you canvass and how you feel knowing that your efforts are making a difference. The level of enthusiasm that you convey is really important. This conversation is more about inspiring someone to take action on the core values they hold and less about simply conveying information.
  • Assure them that they don’t need any special training or skills; they just need to care about defeating Issue 2 and protecting students and our communities.
  • Ask them to try it once and join you. You must ask them to join you, not simply mention it and leave an open-ended invitation. If they can’t make the specific time and date that you are volunteering, ask them about another time or date that weekend and assure them that the We Are Ohio staff will take care of them. Experience shows us that nearly 90% of volunteers who canvass once will want to do it again during that election.

See how much fun folks at a recent canvas were having

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