Campaign Signs and GOTV by Ben Donahower

By at October 21, 2013 | 1:34 pm | Print

Campaign Signs and GOTV by Ben Donahower


GOTV, or get out the vote, consists of election day and the few days directly preceding the election. For the most part, the elements of good GOTV are similar to the rest of the campaign except that it is faster paced, the universe of targets is different, and the message is different.

Get Out the Vote Targeting

GOTV focuses on getting supporters out to vote, so you want to contact them. What if, however, you don’t have enough supporters identified to win? Then, look to precincts where there is strong party performance, in the fall, or candidate performance, in a primary.

Target the likely voters in those precincts more generally. Do this through increased phone banks, canvasses, and even putting many campaign yard signs in the precinct.

GOTV Message

Instead of trying to ID or persuade voters at this point, your message is simply to come out to the polls and vote as well as provide the logistical support to do so such as with reminders and rides to the polls.

Voter Contact Pace

You should be touching base with your supporters during GOTV at least two or three times. Once by direct mail and twice by phone. Try to come up with a different script for each contact. The first call might be where the candidate is located on the ballot. The call the day before the election might revolve around the weather on election day or what you estimate turnout to look like and why that makes it important for the voter to go to the polls. These are just a few examples of the different reasons that you could find to contact a voter twice in the few days preceding the election.


Your campaign can use political lawn signs to help blanket a precinct during get out the vote. It is another way to increase awareness about the upcoming election in precincts where there is strong support for the party or the candidate.

Ben Donahower is the founder of Campaign Trail Yard Signs, which cuts through the campaign yard sign confusion. What do lawn signs do well? When are they more trouble than they are worth? Just honest answers, so that you order useful political yard signs in the quantity your campaign needs. Ben is an authority on marketing for political organizations and has worked on campaigns from borough council to President

Follow Ben on Twitter  @iapprovethismsg

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