Tips to Mobilize Young Voters
⦁ Keep young voters on your call and walk lists:
A contact at the door can increase turnout among young voters by 8-10 percentage points; a live phone call can increase turnout by 3-5 points.
⦁ Utilize volunteers to mobilize fellow young voters:
Volunteers are a cost-effective and efficient way to mobilize young voters. Recruit volunteers, give them training, ambitious goals, and lots of responsibility, and they can do great work. But also make sure staff is spending time to train and coordinate them.
⦁ Talk about issues in ways relevant to young adults:
Health care, education, job creation, water, the environment, and taxes are all key issues for young voters, but make the issues relevant. For example, talk about health care access for young adults.
⦁ Candidates should mingle and chat with young voters at events:
Go to college campuses, attend seminars or picnics, and talk to these voters about issues that matter. Don’t give a stump speech - listen to and answer questions, and engage in a conversation.
⦁ Do voter registration:
Registering new voters is the best way to build a list of turnout targets and potential volunteers. When deciding if registration is a strategic use of funds, remember this: once registered, young adults are very likely to vote
⦁ Maximize the crowd:
Big crowds of young supporters are a goldmine, but you have to work it. Target your speech by talking about relevant issues; open up a Q&A and have a good conversation; encourage everyone to whip out their cell phones and text “Vote” to your campaign’s short-code; make sure volunteers are roaming the audience registering voters and signing up volunteers; ask the audience to take an action to support a hot issue or hit the streets to register voters. The more energy and engagement you give, the more you’ll get.
⦁ Allocate Resources:
Young voters can be mobilized efficiently, but don’t expect it to be free. Allocate staff time and a budget to run a top-notch effort. For example, two or three staff can run a province campaign; one or a half a person’s time can do a significant amount on the district level.
⦁ Get updated lists of young voters
A few tactics can help your campaign build a better list of young voters: buy a brokered voter file from a youth registration campaign; get the updated voter phone bank to update voters’ contact information.
⦁ Use new technology strategically
New technologies – social networking sites, text messaging, etc. – can help a campaign keep in touch with young voters with updates, volunteer opportunities, events, and more. However, remember that new technologies are a good campaign supplement, but not a substitute for old-fashioned peer-to-peer organizing and candidate outreach