By Todd Thurwachter:
Want more volunteers? A Democratic Primary is the best place to find and engage dedicated Democrats, but asking Democratic voters at the polls to help organize or volunteer doesn’t get many signups. Why? Even dedicated Democrats won’t commit to volunteer work in a few seconds. They’ll smile and say, “Sure, I’ll think about it” and walk on by. No e-mails. No phone numbers. No way to follow up. A wasted opportunity.
That’s where the Blue Wave signup sheet is so effective. As voters drop by to check which Democratic presidential candidates are still actively campaigning (six on the official ballot have dropped out), poll volunteers can engage: “Thanks for coming to vote. Could you take a look at helping us build the Blue Wave?” Most Democrats sign up and provide their names, email addresses and zip codes. (Phone numbers are optional.) They can select to get two elections alerts during each election and select events and activities to get a monthly newsletter from their local Democratic committees.
During last year’s primary, volunteers in a few precincts who asked Dems to sign up for Blue Wave election alerts got dozens of signups, including e-mails. Dranesville District Democratic Committee’s Chair for Precinct Ops Kat Kehoe said: “Not asking Democrats to sign up for (Blue Wave) election alerts would be a disservice. I would say 80% … say ‘yes.’” Paul Jameson in Mt. Vernon District, Roger Tarrant in Sully District, and Nancy Pierce, Valerie Brooks and Peter Samson in Providence District, each got dozens of sign-ups.
Dozens? How is that possible? People complain about getting too many e-mails and typically don’t want to provide their email addresses, but the Blue Wave signup sheet just asks voters to share two election alert e-mails each election with friends and family (no solicitations and no sharing email addresses). That’s a pretty quick and easy way to help build the Blue Wave.
If they later decide they don’t like getting even limited e-mails on events and activities, they can always “unsubscribe.” If they decide not to sign up, just give them a Blue Wave card directing them to visit Fairfax Democrats voter information.
Fairfax County Democratic Committee members will keep Blue Wave signup sheet e-mails to improve VAN voter records and cultivate Blue Wave supporters into volunteers and even members through regular but limited e-mails.
Let’s not miss out on the March 3 Democratic Primary to engage Democrats and leverage the popular Blue Wave to get their e-mails for our VAN records and to recruit them, over time, as volunteers and even members.
For more information, contact Fairfax County Democratic Committee’s Vice-Chair for Voter Registration & Education (VR&E) Janice Yohai at JaniceYohai@gmail.com.
PHOTO: Democrats Greg Brandon (left) and Kris Gregory sign up early voters on February 22 at Tysons-Pimmet Library, the first day of voting at 13 early voting satellite location in Fairfax County.
Todd Thurwachter, a retired Foreign Service Officer, has canvassed since returning from Beijing in 2009, serving since 2013 on the FCDC Voter Registration & Education Committee. He is a member of Providence District Democratic Committee.
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