Friends and Family Voting Toolkit – Beyond phone/textbanking.

#1 – Rethink voting as joyful. Share videos like these.

and this video.

#2 – Who do you know who doesn’t have transportation to a polling place or ballot box?

Lack of transportation was one of the top 10 reasons registered voters didn’t vote in 2016 and was in the top three for younger voters aged 18-29. Now, with COVID, many older or medically fragile people may wonder how to get to the polls or how to get their ballots back safely.

  • In-person voting:
    • Spread the word that free and discounted rides to the polls are available. Both Lyft and Uber are offering half-price rides to polling places, but only on November 3. 
    • Offer to drive them for in-person voting (wear masks!). Help them carry a chair to the line. Hold their place for them if the wait appears to be long. We all have cell phones for a reason.
    • Bring food and water.
  • For areas with mail-in ballots: Offer to drop off their mail-in ballots for them and their friends. In CA, make sure they sign on the back of the envelope that you have been designated to return their ballot.

#3 – Reach out to those who think their voice is unimportant or that politics is for “other people.”

Text 10 friends/friends and use these four science-backed strategies to motivate them to vote.

  1. “I talked to [names of friends], and they’re all voting. Are you?”
  2. “You’re a voter, aren’t you?”
  3. “On what day are you sending your ballot?” or “How are you getting to the polls?”
  4. “I’ll text you on election day to see how voting went!”

#4 – Long, complicated ballots can be discouraging. ASK if you can help.

Even those of us who live and breathe politics 24/7 can have trouble with complicated, badly written, or sometimes deliberately confusing ballot measures. For “normal” people, the easier choice is just to walk away. That’s why we started Indivisible Ventura’s Voter Guide, to help our own husbands vote.

  • Make it a connection to look forward to – like a coffee date.
    • Use a Voter guide: If you’re meeting by Zoom or FaceTime, each pull up the same guide(s) and go through the ballot top to bottom or just address the sticky ones. There are over a hundred different guides on this list and our own guide lets you compare Democrats with other progressive groups.
    • Non-partisan Voter Guides: If your friend is not a Democrat, use a non-partisan guide like calmatters, League of Women Voters or Voter’s Edge.
    • Are they an “issue” voter?: Environmental? Veterans? Union? Education? Start with a voter guide that addresses those concerns first. Nobody is alone at an election.
    • Are they not sure of what’s important to them? Run them through lively graphic list of 100 reasons to vote for Joe.

#5 – Help people advocate for their needs and values.

Most of us know some people who believe that voting doesn’t matter. Some are young and don’t fully understand how government interacts with their lives, and others may be stretched so thin by the struggle to survive and feed their families, they feel they have no extra bandwidth for politics.

Pew Research Center report in 2015 stated that “financial security is strongly correlated with nearly every measure of political engagement.” The GOP has been busy creating physical and legal barriers against poor, minority and student voters, but psycological barriers are also part of the complex mix causing voting rates in these communities to be far lower than in higher-income communities. Despite their small numbers, the wealthy never miss a chance to advocate for their own interests at the ballot box, while many in far larger communities won’t use this tool that would serve them just as well.

The Right Question Institute (RQI) has created this graphic tool (below) to help non-voters to identify (3) issues that are important to them (resources are available in Spanish, as well.). We’ve included videos from the site to show how basic human problems, like poverty, joblessness, a sick child, or a serious health condition, are very good reasons to vote.

Your job is to help a disaffected voter see the connection between specific public services they rely on and decisions elected officials make, as well as the personal ramifications of various propositions. Remember, a voter in CA can register and vote on Nov. 3rd. (Locations of in-person voting centers in Ventura Co.)

#6 – Share these great videos from the Equal Justice Society.

#7 – Visualize your vote fighting for you!

My mom was a Democrat and my dad was a Republican. They never missed an election, because they needed to cancel out the other’s vote.”

Every American citizen gets just one vote, even the country’s most politically powerful or wealthiest. Just one. This tiny minority’s power is drawn from convincing us to either vote against our own interests, or more powerfully, to convince us that our vote doesn’t matter.

Don’t fall for it. Put your mail-in ballot in a REAL ballot box, or walk into a voting booth, and VISUALIZE EXACTLY WHOSE VOTE YOU’RE CANCELLING OUT. We like to imagine Trump’s face, any of his nepotistic followers’. But don’t forget Mitch McConnell’s. Or Devon Nunes’. Or Stephen Miller’s. Or Charles Koch’s.

Your vote and your friends’ votes are equal to any of theirs. Don’t miss the opportunity of a lifetime to save our country. Vote against vote. Boom! Sink their battleship.

#8 – Talk to Trump voters

It’s Not Too Late to Persuade Republican Loved Ones to Vote Democrat


Conventional wisdom says it’s too late to persuade Republicans to vote for Joe Biden, so we should focus exclusively on voter turnout from here out.

Don’t believe it. While a phone call from a stranger may have little chance of swinging your mom’s vote, you still can. In fact, now is the perfect moment to ask Right-leaning loved ones to vote Democrat — if you do it right.


  • Up to 20% of voters make their decision in the final two weeks of the campaign
  • Although voters’ opinions about Trump are mostly fixed, their attitudes toward Biden are malleable
  • Most Republican voters don’t particularly like Trump
  • Trump’s disastrous record is finally catching up with him

Skeptical? You’ve probably tried persuading friends and family in the past only to be met with resistance and hostility. I used to struggle to influence voters too. Since the 2016 election, though, I’ve been studying ways to persuade Republicans to vote Democrat. And now, after having countless conversations with Trump voters and drawing on my training in political psychology and psychiatry, I’ve developed a method that works better than anything else.


Successful political conversations don’t happen by chance — they take carefully executed strategy and tactics…(Continued on Medium)

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