What's the best way to help HRC get elected?
July 28, 2016 9:18 PM   Subscribe

I live near some battleground states-- Iowa, Wisconsin... should I take a week to go canvas in those states? Donate money? Something else? My schedule is pretty flexible-- what's the most impactful way for me to help her get elected?
posted by enzymatic to Law & Government (11 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
If you can get out the vote - get people registered AND get them to the polls the day of, that is very impactful. Also contact your local Hillary office and ask to volunteer - they WILL put you on what they need the most.

Also, YAY HRC!!
posted by Toddles at 9:43 PM on July 28, 2016 [10 favorites]

One thing that doesn't get mentioned - supplies. If you can swing by the local campaign headquarters, ask what they need, and then get some of that stuff for them. Especially useful if they need, say, toilet paper or snacks or cleaning gear, and you have a Costco membership. That frees up the campaign workers to do the actual campaigning. They also may be from out of thwn, so they may not know where to get stuff.

Food is also a great boost - especially if it's something substantial and nutritious. The campaign workers and volunteers will thank you for that!
posted by spinifex23 at 1:43 AM on July 29, 2016 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I would also consider getting involved in a more local campaign; even other national races like Senate matter. Both Iowa and Wisconsin have competitive Senate races this year. (So does Illinois!) Given that a good part of helping out is get-out-the-vote - getting people to show up for Senate will also get them to show up for President.

And of course your state house/senate/governor races matter too; they make important policy decisions, are the future farm team, and we're getting close to 2020 redistricting.

I say this partially because your money and time can have outsized influence on smaller races, and get-out-the-vote is universal and helps Hillary too.
posted by nat at 2:20 AM on July 29, 2016 [4 favorites]

Not sure what the laws are in these states on absentee voting, but I've canvassed for groups that were allowed to sign people up to get their ballot in the mail.

Absentee voting can really help out folks who don't have regular access to a car or who can't easily take time off from work to vote.

Some groups are allowed to distribute the forms for voting by mail door to door, but again I believe the laws on this vary quite a bit state to state.

posted by forkisbetter at 4:47 AM on July 29, 2016

My friends on the "inside" say driving people to polling places is the single most impactful thing you can do. if you're in a swing district m/county or swing state, all the better.
posted by nkknkk at 4:52 AM on July 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Now: Getting people to register, volunteer to be one of those people who sit at a table outside a grocery store
Election day: Take the day off work and drive people to the polls/go door to door and remind people to vote (volunteer for this with a Hillary office soon so they can allocate you as needed)
posted by rmless at 5:50 AM on July 29, 2016 [3 favorites]

If you can vote absentee in your own state, you could be in another state on election day to drive people to the polls. If you are close enough, you can vote in your district in the morning and drive over to another state for the rest of the day.
posted by soelo at 8:15 AM on July 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Great ideas, all. I live in Minnesota. It's pretty blue. Does it make sense for me to spend a week in Wisconsin or Iowa, if I can?
posted by enzymatic at 8:20 AM on July 29, 2016

Best answer: hillaryclinton.com/events is a good starting point. Try searching by your zip code. There will either be activities going on with voters directly in your area, or carpools, phone banks, etc.. to go help elsewhere.

Looking briefly, it appears like the Clinton campaign is very active in MN right now. I live in Kansas and knocked in Iowa twice ahead of the caucuses in January. It was pretty fun for a day trip and fun to do it with people from my area.

TLDR: dial in w/ your local Clinton organizer, and they'll get you helping out where it'll make the biggest difference.
posted by eelgrassman at 10:15 AM on July 29, 2016 [4 favorites]

Go local. And thank you for doing what you are doing and for this question as I am looking for the same.
posted by metajim at 12:00 PM on July 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

My friends on the "inside" say driving people to polling places is the single most impactful thing you can do.

I'm surprised to hear this. I worked on the Obama campaign, and found that "driving to polls" is something that every volunteer thinks is needed, but isn't really needed that badly. Apparently we needed just a few people to do poll driving, and had hundreds of other people showing up to offer to drive - most of whom ended up just doing "visibility" - standing in busy corners with signs - because we were well covered with regular vols. So I'm not sure that it's universal to need a lot of poll drivers.

GOTV in general is important, but more in the shape of knocking doors and visibility on Election Day and the days before, and ensuring that people know their voting location, poll hours, and ID requirements.

I agree that helping with GOTV during election week in a swing state could be very important. My state was in play in 2008 and the out-of-state volunteers were extremely helpful. If your state/district is already likely to go blue, it may not be the best use of your time to volunteer there, except inasmuch as it is of value for the downticket races. Similarly, if you're in a solid red/Trump district that's lost no matter what, you're better off putting your energy in where a slight difference in turnout makes a big difference in electoral votes.
posted by Miko at 10:10 AM on July 30, 2016

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