Collect thousands of signatures in one or two days!
As many of you know, earlier this year, the Ballot Access Committee approved the promotion of "Green Ballot Access Day". For states that CAN begin collecting signatures for 2019/2020 Ballot Access now, we recommend that you plan to mobilize state volunteers to gather signatures on Election Day (November 6) as well as the heaviest early voting days in your state at the polling places.
We understand that the national Green Ballot Day initiative does not apply to several states at the moment (IL and TX are prime examples because they have a short period of 90 days that isn't flexible), however this initiative apply to several states presently without ballot access for this Election Day and next Election Day, and in the case of some states, even the 2019 and 2020 primaries.
We are also aware that some states have more prohibitive restrictions for how far away you have to be from the polling place to speak to voters.
If your state CAN begin petitioning now and CAN get close enough to the polling location to petition, the Ballot Access Committee highly recommends that you begin collecting signatures now and mobilize for a Green Ballot Day (Election Day and Early Voting). Even if you only get 5-10 volunteers do commit , if they can put in 1-2 full days at the polls, that could mean as many as 3000 or more signatures in a short period of time!
We still have possible Ballot Access funds available to aid with this process. If this interests you, please get in touch with Cora Santaguida and Charles Sherrouse at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Green Ballot Day Notes and Sample Resources
Election Day/Primary Day are the BEST days of the year for new volunteers to collect signatures. Why? Because virtually 100% of the people going to vote are registered, registered in the same county, and are thinking on some level about electoral choices. People of all political angles absolutely support MORE voter options. Other big days are Fourth of July, major food truck festivals with long lines on public property (unless you get a booth), booths at non-mainstream music festivals, hippie festivals, and Earth Day fairs.
The first couple of times around make the planning as simple as possible – get the information, make the instructions clear and re-emphasize all of the rules clearly (maybe even with a short video if your requirements are very specific like Georgia), and keep the contact consistent:
No need to have lots of coordinators if you don't yet have the resources – just make sure you have everything you need on one list with their first and last name, area, contact info, mobile # and if you can text them, and mailing info if you need to mail them sheets. Then make a group out of them on google. You could potentially use the group to mass text them too.
If there is anything of particular note – how many feet away to stand from polling entrance, whether or not they can pass out fliers, what size/kind of paper to use, whether it needs to be notarized (every sheet? all together) whether everyone on the same page needs to be from the same county, the best way to label counties on your clipboard, who to submit to and by when, etc.
Get the volunteer list two weeks in advance (whether it’s 5 or 100) and send anyone who needs something the forms, pens, buttons, fliers (if possible) and clipboard (if necessary). Sending stuff like buttons really helps boost the “rah rah” morale. Not sure why but it just does!
Make sure to have phone calls with volunteers and make sure you email and Facebook reminders a day and a few hours before the call. Something a rediscovered looking at patterns over the last year – those who make the calls will be the most likely to follow through. There is something about human interaction in planning as opposed to email or Facebook or even individual calls that creates a sense of purpose and obligation. On the group call, have participants join in discussion with others what the most convincing arguments for voting Green or having multiple parties on the ballot are. Sometimes people who are newer to organizing will give the best answers because they can communicate how they feel.
Whether or not you make Facebook events, it’s important to lead everyone to the SAME SOURCE to enter their information. Just signing up on Facebook is not enough. Get on their case until the sign up. You can either use a Nationbuilder event or, if you don’t have Nationbuilder, you can create a google form very easily and export the answers to an excel doc (so ask all questions you need such as volunteering for early voting, Election Day.
Remember particularly on odd years, some municipalities have staggered voting days like in Oct and Nov etc. Send them to the link for their state elections board/commission and the links to all of the county elections boards for their dates and precinct locations.
Pair up people who would get along, particularly if someone seems a bit shy. It's much easier to get results with two people.
Assigning polling places doesn’t really always work – people should feel free to go where they feel comfortable to get signatures. Also, the numbers of voters in previous elections may not be as significant as how long the lines are.
Please review and sure make all instructions are extremely clear and anything that can trip people up in BOLD. This is for general petitioning instructions (not Green Ballot Day). Please feel free to copy and rewrite NC parts to adapt to your own state.
Kind Regards n Solidarity,