2008 Latino Voter Turnout Plan: Part I of V
By Ramón Pérez [email protected]
There is no magic formula in developing a successful voter registration and turnout campaign for Latinos. We just need to “just do it.”
Most of our gente will never give you this kind of information because either they don’t know it or they will keep critical information to themselves so you will always be dependent on them as if they hold some magic knowledge that the common Raza-person can never understand.
You can surf cyber-space and find “a million to Juan” get out the vote plans, guidelines, the how to’s, do-it yourself, voter turnout for idiots, and so forth.
For those of you whoever wanted to do a block, neighborhood, and/or city-wide voter registration and turnout campaign, just follow this blue print and your off and running. Remember, when in doubt, you can always get on the internet and just type in: voter registration campaign (click #2), America votes.org, the league of woman voters, NAACP, wellstone action, anything that says, “Get out the vote!” and SaS! You’re in.
There’s roughly a year left before the next presidential and other important local elections. So dig in and start making plans now with your family, friends, and/or other groups and organizations because there’s a lot to prepare for and before you know it, wacate, it’s time to vote.
Voter Registration: First, be sure you are a registered voter and you have a group of at least ten to fifteen that are committed for the long haul. Next, find out where your nearest board of elections office is located and pay them a visit. You will need to get all the current information including a dozen voter registration forms, local registration deadlines, ID requirements, absentee voting information, copies of precincts and wards you are going to target for your voting campaign, and anything else the board of election representative says you will need and know to register folks and vote in Ohio.
Don’t wait for someone else to get you rolling or try to talk you into joining there effort, because they probably have there own political agenda and will take advantage of your hard work.
Voter Recruitment: Determine how many volunteers you will need by how big an area you want to register to vote. If, for example, you wanted to do a voter registration and voter turnout for Toledo you would need a minimum of fifty to seventy five active volunteers. Keep in mind you will have to constantly recruit volunteers to replace those who dropout for legitimate reasons and/or just got caught up in the hype. Make sure you have a computer or have access to a computer for communication and to keep an updated list of volunteers and all other relevant data.
Finding Volunteers: This is one of the most important parts of developing a successful election campaign, so pay close attention. This is also where most Mexican-American mobilizing efforts kill a movement and keep new and old activists from achieving real political power and greatness in our communities across the state and across the nation.
You may ask, Why? How?
Anytime you have a large group of Latinos who have never been contacted face-to-face you are losing hundreds and many times thousands of potential volunteers and most importantly, new voters. Most folks have just simply never been asked to volunteer.
There are several techniques in the approach but basically our gente have never really been asked to take on the challenge. So, first talk to and recruit family members and relatives. Then start expanding your recruitment efforts to include friends, neighbors, and folks that you know who have at one time or another talked about wanting to do something like this.
Next, start asking Latino organizations in your area if they would share their list of names and addresses so you can start recruiting volunteers. Ask your church, go through the telephone book, and you can even request a copy of the student directory from your local schools under the freedom of information act (FOIA) and the Ohio Public Records Act.
Contact me if you need assistance with that one. You also need to buy, for a minimal fee, a “walking list” from the board of elections. This is a list of folks who have recently voted or you can purchase a list of folks who have not voted in last presidential election.
These are all ways of starting to create a list of potential volunteers. Keep in mind, we are targeting our gente to volunteer and get out the vote but if your network of possible volunteers are willing to help you with this cause, than it doesn’t matter if they are white, black, Asian, or middle eastern. Get’em on board!
The dozen voter registration forms I asked you to pick up, you need to sign up anyone in your family or friend network. You need to practice registering people right now, today! If you still feel confused or lost, just email me and I will come out to your group or family and walk you through this first part. You can reach me at [email protected].
Remember, don’t ever let anyone stop you from getting involved in anything you do to try and empower yourself and your gente!
Part II next week.
2008 Latino Voter Turnout Plan: Part I of V
2008 Latino Voter Turnout Plan: Part II of V
2008 Latino Voter Turnout Plan: Part III of V
2008 Latino Voter Turnout Plan: Part IV of V
2008 Latino Voter Turnout Plan: Part V of V