Thursday, July 9, 2020

BTRTN: Quick and Simple Instructions on How to Volunteer for the Biden Campaign, Right Now

Tom with a call to action on how to get involved, right now.

This will be a short article to illustrate exactly how easy it is to become a Joe Biden volunteer and how quickly you can begin to make a difference.  I will repeat the “warning label” we have been including in all of our BTRTN 2020 presidential race “snapshots,” which consistently show Biden leading Trump by an impressive margin.

WARNING:  No matter how good the numbers look at any given time, the Democrats will not win any election, and especially the presidential election, unless they work hard to earn it – registering voters, calling, texting, donating – all through the summer and fall, up to and including Election Day.

We all must do our part.  If we don’t, and Trump wins, it will be unbearable, and could do irrevocable damage to our democracy, if not destroy it.  And we would never forgive ourselves for falling short in our efforts.  We have much to overcome:  an Electoral College tilted toward the GOP, aggressive voter suppression measures, the effect of potential third party candidates, the Russian influence, the uncertain effects of COVID-19 on voting, the inability to campaign in person, the potential for a Trump comeback, and, much as we like him, the rather uninspiring Biden candidacy.  These impacts, while real, are what we politely call “excuses.”  We can fight some of them directly, but whether or not we are successful, we must overcome them, like a sprained ankle on Super Bowl Sunday.  They are simply obstacles – and volunteering en masse is our best weapon to prevail.

Volunteers play a huge and essential role in modern campaigns.  They gather information on voters, mobilize attendance at campaign events, assist with fundraising, recruit other volunteers, help with voter registration and, above all, get out the vote.  You can do all of these things – particularly in these virtual times – from your own home, on your own phone.

Here we go:

Step 1:  Go to

Joe Biden 2020 Presidential Campaign Website - 2020 Presidential ...This will bring you to a page with a large picture of a smiling Joe Biden (like the one pictured to the right).  It looks like a donation page.  Feel free to donate – there are plenty of buttons and Joe certainly needs the support.  (It may take you directly to a donation-only page, in which case, click on a link marked "Continue to".

Step 2:  Register

Across the top of the page you’ll see various tabs, “Joe’s Story,”  “Joe’s Vision” and the like – click on the one that says “Join The Team.”   Very straightforward:  name, email address, mobile phone, zip code, then hit the red “Let’s Go” button.   It takes you to another donation page (yes, presidential campaigns, even virtual ones, are expensive).  At the top of that page you can hit the “Return to” link…

Step 3:  Volunteer Options

Back to the Smiling Joe page.  Scroll down past the ubiquitous red donation buttons (making a detour to donate if you wish) until you see a headline “Take Action For Joe,” with three options:

Make Phone Calls for Joe – just what it says

Find an Event Near You – a listing of events that you may want to participate in, all sorts of virtual events, such as phone banking (usually with some group affiliation), rallies, meetings, education session and so on.

Download the Team Joe App – this is a user-friendly networking app.

There is also a link at the bottom to “Visit our Action Center to Find Additional Ways to Elect Joe”

Click on the “Make Phone Calls for Joe”…

Step 4:  Get To Work!

You’ll find a link to a guide to help you with the call tool; or, since it is pretty straightforward, you can just click on one of the call options.  Yesterday the options were to make calls in one of six states – no surprise, these are all key swings states:  Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.  These are all calls to supporters.  We’re not trying to convert Trumpsters or win over independents here.  We need our people to vote.

Click on a state, say, Florida.  Your own info should pop up, and you will see a button asking you to “pick a time.”  There are options that you can work into your schedule.  If calls can be made right away, “now” will be an option.  Otherwise sign up for a time that works for you.

If you pick a time, you will get an email with the details.  When your time arrives, go to that email and click the “Make Calls Now” button.  You’ll sign in, and then it will take you to your first call – a name, with their age, and a phone number – and a script.  Familiarize yourself with the script before you call.  There are a few dropdown buttons to record some information, such as how strongly they support Biden, or whether they want to attend virtual events.  There is also a space for comments.

Then dial the number on your own phone.

If you don’t talk to the person, click the button that says “I could not reach {name}” and the give the reason from a set of options.  This is another form of information.  It is crucial, for instance, to distinguish a wrong or disconnected number from a valid one.  This improves all future communications – including getting out the vote on Election Day.

Yesterday I made 15 calls in an hour, and had four pleasant (and surprisingly long) conversations with Biden supporters in Florida.  I left eight messages, got two “no answers” that did not have a voicemail option, and found one disconnected number.  These particular calls are very light – just asking people how they are doing, and if they want to talk about where Joe stands on the key issues – in this script, the issues they gave “talking points” for included COVID, the economy and racism.  The first few calls can be a little awkward, but once you get used to it, it goes smoothly.  Be sure to record the desired information that the script asks for and include your comments.

I am certain the content will change over time.  But the scripts are easy to follow, and it is all remarkably effective.  It works on the same inexorable principle as the virus, except we are spreading something good, not bad.  The more volunteers that get involved, the more potential voters they can impact, and the effect is exponential.  One person can end up contacting hundreds if not thousands between now and Election Day, perhaps making a small difference in their enthusiasm level – turning infrequent participants into voters, voters into volunteers or donors, and volunteers into mega-volunteers, inspired to do more, knowing they are part of a giant, motivated team.  In a race that could very well be decided by a handful of votes, this is all exceptionally crucial.

And remember the warning:

WARNING:  No matter how good the numbers look at any given time, the Democrats will not win any election, and especially the presidential election, unless they work hard to earn it – registering voters, calling, texting, donating – all through the summer and fall, up to and including Election Day.

So get started!

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