Against The Amendment: Getting out the NO vote

By Lavender October 18, 2012

Categories: Causes, Our Affairs, Politics

Q&A with Ryan Greenwood, Deputy Campaign Manager, Minnesotans United for All Families

It may sound simple, but only votes win elections. Lawn signs, television commercials, t-shirts, and fundraising are tremendous, but on November 6th it is all about the votes. All too often in political campaigns, people will donate and put up lawn signs, but actually fail to vote. Campaigns work hard to make sure their supporters get out to the polls. Political wonks call this GOTV (get out the vote). Ryan Greenwood is a Deputy Campaign Manager/Director of Organizing with Minnesotans Talking with Minnesotans, the organizing unit of Minnesotans United for All Families. His job is to oversee the campaign’s GOTV efforts.

What should everyone know about GOTV?

GOTV is not just about bringing in new supporters to the campaign. Yes, that is an important aspect; however, GOTV is equally about making sure that the people who support you actually vote! A significant part of our GOTV effort is to make sure we contact those people who have already told us that they are going to vote NO, but we feel might need an extra nudge to vote. That may sound counterintuitive. If they have already told us that they are going to vote no, why do we need to follow up? Well, in every election, there are groups of voters who support your campaign, but also need that an extra push to get to the polls.

Why is GOTV going to be so important for this election?

This election is going to be close. All the polls indicate this. In tight elections, it is crucial that our base is not only motivated, but voting. We cannot afford to let someone who would otherwise support us not vote because they do not know where their polling location is, or because they need a ride, or for whatever logistical reason there is that might keep them from voting. We especially need to make sure that our supporters do not get complacent and think that we already have enough votes. It may sound cliché, but every vote counts – especially when we are so close to defeating this amendment.

Come November 6th, how can people help you get out the NO vote?

If you can, take the day off on November 6th. Plan to vote first thing in the morning and then come and volunteer at an office near where you live. Definitely plan on volunteering the week before the campaign. There will be teams canvassing neighborhoods, calling voters, dropping off literature, and on Election Day serving as poll monitors. There will be plenty to do. Take the time now to schedule in your calendar when you are going to vote and then head to the website and sign up for a shift to volunteer during the week before Election Day.

Minnesotans United for All Families has had a great presence at events like Pride and the State Fair. What do you expect November 6th to look like?

What I would love to see on Election Day is the same atmosphere we created for Pride and the State Fair. Everywhere you turn on November 6th you should see a Vote No t-shirt, hoodie, lawn sign, bumper sticker, or wristband. The key difference is that everyone must also be wearing “I Voted” stickers. That would be pretty special to see!

How is the campaign mobilizing the different groups within its coalition?

There are teams working with particular constituencies, for example students, veterans, and faith communities. Each team is gearing up right now. For example, our student team has about sixty students organizing events around Minnesota now that school is back in session. Across Minnesota, we have targeted conversation drives that consist of seniors talking with seniors. Our faith team continues to grow its coalition as well as having thousands of conversations every week with Minnesotans about how their faith inspires them to Vote No. We also have groups such as Republicans Against the Amendment, our Latino group Minnesotanos Unidos para Todas las Familias, as well as Doctors United, Educators United, Farmers United, and Law Enforcement United. The full list of groups we have is on our website, www.mnunited.org.

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