WHY CANVASS?

A Message from Our Chair

There is so much at stake in this election. Four more years of Matt Bevin in the Governor’s Mansion would have ruinous results that will set our communities back an entire generation. But you know that, or you wouldn’t be considering volunteering as a canvasser. But what you may not know is what it’s going to take to ensure that Andy Beshear and the Democratic Ticket are elected on November 5. Well, let me tell you…a higher voter turnout! Knocking on doors and talking to potential voters is THE BEST way to activate those individuals and get them to the polls on Election Day. Additionally, the information collected in the process helps the campaigns make informed decisions about how to efficiently and effectively spend campaign resources.

This is our election to lose. And it will be close. The Republicans and their dark-money allies are spending millions of dollars on two objectives: rile up their base to get them to the polls AND discourage everyone else in hopes they will stay home. We can’t let that happen. If we wake up on November 6, facing four more years of a Bevin Administration, there is no question as to why. It will be because we didn’t do enough to engage and turn out the vote.

Please consider giving some of your time and becoming a canvasser! Election Day is just around the corner and there is still a great deal of ground to cover! You can SIGN UP HERE. Need some more information? On this page, we’ll answer some of the questions you may have on the why and the how. Knocking on doors and talking to voters is not as scary as you think, we promise. Together, we can elect leaders like Andy Beshear who share our values of opportunity & equality and who will fight for good schools, higher wages, access to affordable healthcare and a state government that works to lift up every Kentucky family (not just the ones that voted for us).

Yours,
Clint Morris, Chair
Fayette County Democratic Party

Why We Canvass

Talking to voters at their door is the best way to engage and activate voters to support our candidates.  Studies show that campaigns that utilize a canvassing operation increase their supporter turnout by several percentage points – which is important in close elections where every vote makes a difference! Additionally, canvassers help the campaign to collect valuable data that is used to determine the most effective ways to utilize the campaign’s resources.

How to Canvass

Though canvassing may seem like a daunting task to many, it’s actually a relatively easy thing to do! All you need is a passion for electing the candidate(s) and the ability to talk to other members of our community about why you are supporting the candidate(s). The campaign will provide you with everything else – the list of voters, the literature, talking points (if needed) and a way to report the information!  (You can view a sample of the literature currently being used by canvassers here.) And if you have a smart phone – the campaign can set you up with a canvassing app that will make your experience easy and efficient!

First Time?

Thinking about canvassing for the first time? Feeling a little anxious about it? Don’t worry! Most seasoned canvassers felt the same before they got started. And now many of them LOVE IT!  Please consider giving it a try, and even if it’s not your thing and you want to find other ways to volunteer, just the one time will be valuable to the campaign.

Check out the answers to some of our most Frequently Asked Questions regarding canvassing…

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Since I’ve never canvassed before, will there be a training session before I’m sent out to knock doors?

Yes! Campaign staff will be available at the beginning of your shift to train you and others on what you need to know! They will cover everything from messaging to logistics at the door. And they can answer any questions you might have!

2. Is canvassing safe?

Yes. Canvasses are held in the morning and afternoon. And in all the years we’ve been hosting canvasses we have yet to have a volunteer get hurt. That said, we empower the volunteer to make decisions in the field and never want anyone to put themselves in a situation that they aren’t comfortable with. And canvassing with a buddy is always a great idea!

3. Who will I be canvassing?

The campaign has identified voters who have a high propensity or likelihood of supporting our candidate(s) if the voter is engaged by the campaign (i.e. canvassed, reminded to vote, get info on the campaign, etc.). Most of these voters will be Democrats. But some will be Republicans or Independents who the campaign feels are open to voting for our candidate(s). There is a great deal of statistical analysis that goes into selecting this target “universe.” If you find a voter that will be supporting the opponent, that is useful information too. The campaign can then stop trying to engage that voter and spend resources on other voters.

4. Do I have to canvass alone?

Of course not! Best way to ensure this is to…bring a friend! But you can let campaign staff know you’d like a partner and they will try to set you up with another volunteer to canvass with!

5. Will I get the door slammed in my face?

This is unlikely. Most people who are not interested will politely let you know and you can get on your way. It is also likely that the majority of the folks on your list won’t be home. And that’s okay too. You’ll be able to leave the literature at their door so they have it and they know someone came by to chat. If we have enough volunteer power, we may catch them during another pass through the county closer to Election Day.

5A. Who am I likely to encounter at the door?

The four most likely “types” of individuals you’ll encounter at the door”

1. Supporters! These folks will generally thank you for what you are doing and may even offer a glass of water! Collecting this information is just as important as those who are not supporting us – if we know they support our candidate(s), we can leave them alone until time to Get Out the Vote and spend those resources elsewhere.

2. Undecided. This is where you can make a big impact! Your interaction with these voters may be what they need to make up their mind and become a supporter! And your identification of them as “undecided” helps the campaign know they need to get some more information before this voter to make them a supporter.

3. Non-Supporters. These folks will likely politely decline to talk with you. But it’s still important for us to know who they are – because we can stop trying to get them to go vote. That’s no longer our job with these folks.

4. Busy People. We’ve all been there. And that’s okay. Getting materials in their hands can still make a difference.

6. What if something makes me uncomfortable?

We love and respect our volunteers! You are a valuable resource to us. Your time, effort and experience are important! Therefore, if you encounter a situation at a house you are not comfortable with, it is okay to move on to the next. Collecting the data for that house is not as important as your safety, wellbeing and experience. And we get it, even the most experienced canvasser will occasionally encounter something makes them think “I should probably skip this one.” Maybe it’s a hateful sign or bumper sticker, or a dog, or just something that gives you the heebiegeebies. That’s okay.

7. How many doors? How much time?

This varies from turf to turf and the general speed of the canvasser. Talk to the campaign staff about your time availability and they will work to find you a turf that closely matches those expectations.

8. What if I don’t like it?

That’s okay. It’s not for everyone. But if you give it a try, we think you will. But if not, there are other ways you can volunteer with the campaign: make calls, deliver yard signs, give rides to the polls, etc.

9. What if I love it?

That’d be great! There will be plenty of ground to cover and doors to knock between now and Election Day. So keep coming back. And maybe think about bringing a friend of two!

10. Where do I go? How do I sign up?

Canvasses are being run out of the Beshear/Coordinated Campaign Offer at 1500 Leestown Road. Saturday canvasses run at 10 AM, Noon and 3 PM. Sunday canvasses run at Noon and 3 PM. You can also sign up to canvass during the week. To sign up, complete this online form and someone from the campaign will reach out closer to the date with a reminder. Or you can give the campaign staff a call at (859) 684-8346.

 

CANVASSING DETAILS & SIGN UP

Location

Canvasses are run out of the Beshear/Coordinated Campaign Officer at 1500 Leestown Road.

Dates/Times

  • Saturday Canvasses start at 10:00 AM, Noon and 3:00 PM.
  • Sunday Canvasses start at Noon and 3:00 PM.
  • If you are interested in canvassing during the week, please indicate that interest on the form linked below and someone from the campaign will reach out to you.

Sign Up Online

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP ONLINE!