This page is designed to aid community members when planning to conduct get out the vote and other related election activities.
Contact your local CAIR chapter to join your efforts with theirs.
Obtain a list of eligible voters in your community.
Lists of registrants can be obtained from city, county or state boards of elections. Some provide phone numbers; some do not. For a price, some services, such as Aristotle, will provide lists with phone numbers.
You will need to consider the following:
- How many days, hours per day and locations do you have? You will need to acquire locations. We recommend four-hour shifts for callers.
- Calling is best done when voters are likely to be at home, in the evenings or on weekends. Weekend cell phone minutes are often free; volunteers can call from home if you trust them with your list.
- How many phone lines and people do you need? You will need to acquire phone lines and volunteers (CAIR’s government affairs department has volunteer information cards you can print.) Approximate 20 calls per hour per phone line (Thus 2,000 calls will take 100 hours or 25 four-hour shifts.) Find volunteers to work by approaching your local mosques, youth groups, and MSAs.
- Write a script for those making the calls. This should include at least a greeting, why they are calling (We just want to remind you to go vote on [insert election day]), and a goodbye. If you are going to do an exit poll, ask if you can call on Election Day to confirm that they voted and who they voted for.
- Create tracking sheets. Have callers track how many contacts they make, how many voters said they planned to vote, how many said do not call (Mark these and remove them from your list), and who said you can follow up for an exit poll.
- Automated calling is another option. Agree to pay only for calls that go through and don’t pay up front. Start any recorded message with “As-salaamu alaykum” — this will get the attention of Muslims.
- For a sample calling script produced by CAIR, click here.
72 hours before the election
- Conduct your phone banking.
- Have callers track results of call (see “Getting ready” above) and keep a master tally.
- Consider placing volunteers outside mosques in advance of the election with signs that read “Remember to vote on [Election Day.]”
- Issue an election advisory via your fax and e-mail lists.
- For a sample election advisory produced by CAIR, click here.
Election Day: Getting out the vote
- Phone: Re-call the people on your list in the afternoon to ask if they voted. If they have not, encourage them to do so immediately.
- Place volunteers in mosques or other places where Muslims congregate to ask people if they have voted yet. If they have not, encourage them to do so immediately.
- Consider providing the following services:
- Transportation to and from polling stations. Arranging free rides through local cab drivers with a centralized number provided on the voter guide for people to call and request a ride is one possible method.
- Door knocking in close-race districts with large Muslim populations.
Election Day: Exit poll media release
- An exit poll simply asks “Who did you vote for?” For a sample exit poll, click here.
- If there are any ballot measures in your state that are particularly relevant, you can ask about them.
- Issue a release to the media, as early as possible, giving the results of your exit poll. For a sample election media advisory produced by CAIR, click here.
Want to know more? Need help or advice? Call CAIR and talk to our government affairs department.