Voting Special Part 4: Getting out the Vote

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What role do parties play in getting people out to vote? How important is the ground game and having organizations help with this?

Lorna Romero Ferguson, owner of Elevate Strategies, and John Fetherston from Husch Blackwell join us to explain the proper strategies to actually get people to vote.

Encouraging people to vote is “incredibly important,” according to Ferguson.

“It’s one thing to have a well-run campaign and a message, but if you’re not encouraging voters who are going to support you to actually turn out and vote, there’s really no purpose to your campaign,” Ferguson said.

Door knocking and advertising can only go so far, but truly telling people to fill out their early ballots or vote at the poll is what will help campaigns the most.

In a midterm election where there tends to be a fewer voter turnout, “every voter you remind to vote is crucial,” Fetherston said.

There are several ways to make the messages clear for how to vote, but it ranges by who is being targeted.

“It really depends on your target audience. And it’s the same thing with any kind of campaign message. For and older audience, you’re gonna want to do T.V. and mail because they have the tendency to focus on that. For a younger audience that’s not focused on T.V. and actually doesn’t really check their mail very often, digital is a really good outlet to do it,” Ferguson said.

The vast majority of efforts is partisan and from the candidates, pushing for their voters to get out and vote.

But we are “seeing an increasing amount of folks who want to activate, especially marginalized communities, to make sure that they are fully engaged in the process. And more voters voting is always a good thing,” Fetherston said.

An increasing tactic that especially Democrats have been using is called Network Organizing, which is when people take responsibility for people in their own community, such as family, neighbors and friends, and tell them to get out and vote, according to Fetherston.

Lorna Romero Ferguson, John Fetherston

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