Targeting and Voter Contact: GOTV

GOTV efforts are the activities specifically designed to make sure your supporters vote on Election Day. Unless you can translate your support into votes, you will not win. Move into active GOTV mode the final week of the campaign (earlier in early vote and vote by mail states) and include all of the following:

Absentee Ballots

Absentee ballots allow you to lock in votes before Election Day, but only if your supporters use them. Mail either the ballots themselves or information on obtaining them to your entire GOTV universe (sometimes-voting Democrats and your target universe). Make sure your supporters receive the ballots 5-10 days before they are required to return them.

GOTV Calls

These calls are especially critical in the week leading up to Election Day. Secure a phone bank location and volunteer pool large enough to reach your entire GOTV universe in the time allotted. If you are unable to do this, use an automated message recorded by you or someone with a high level of trust and favorability in your district. On Election Day, use volunteers to contact targeted voters who have not yet voted.

Poll Watchers

Assign one volunteer to each precinct. They are responsible for pulling lists of those who have voted at several pre-determined times (10 a.m., 2 p.m., and two hours before the polls close). They can use flag any targeted voters who have not yet voted for immediate contact.


Flushers knock on doors of the flagged voters to direct them to their polling location or help them secure a ride to the polls.

Rides to the Polls

Have several drivers on call to provide rides to those who may need them.


The best times to have volunteers out with signs are during rush hour at busy intersections and at the polls during peak voting hours. However, visibility is the lowest priority on Election Day. Make sure to fill all other GOTV assignments first. Also, be familiar with the laws governing visibility at polling locations!