September 13, 2008

Volunteer FAQs

(updated October 24)

Q: What's your program about? What do volunteers do?
A: You can check out how our program works here.

Q: I'm all pumped up and ready to kick butt in Ohio! But I have some questions before I commit. Who do I call?
A: We’re so excited for your help. We’ve got a lot of phone calls and emails to return from enthusiastic supporters. Please read info on this web site thoroughly and contact us at with follow up questions. We’ll get back to you soon as we can.

Q: I want to come but I can’t afford the plane ticket. Can you help?
We are relying on out-of-state volunteers to raise their own funds from friends, family, and networks to cover personal expenses. Why not ask your friends and family to chip in to support your travel costs and issue a request to everyone you know to donate frequent flier miles.

Q: I’m coming from somewhere within driving distance. Can I carpool with someone coming from my city or along the way?
A: We’ll try to hook you up with a carpool. Contact us at with “I need a carpool from x city” in the subject line. You can also try to find one on Craigslist or other rideshare services. Or consider Greyhound if you’ve got a few bucks for a bus ticket.

Q: What if I’m only available for a weekend or my schedule doesn’t work with your program?
A: Our program model depends on reliable, consistent, skilled volunteers to develop and implement the work in each community. If you're able to join us for a specific 4-7 day Action Block, we'll be able to provide you with the training and tools to take a leadership role, and we'll plug you in as a key member of a team in Cleveland, Cincinnati, or Columbus.

But if you can only give a day or two, we can ABSOLUTELY still use your help. If you can come only for a couple of hours, other campaigns will be over the moon to put your talent to use. Find other volunteer opportunities with our partner America Votes.

Q: When will I know where I will be placed?
A: We’ll read everything you wrote in your application, we’ll plan to accommodate your requests, and we’ll firm up with you soon as we can. We’ll triage to get back soonest to people who are arriving for the earlier sessions, and then get to folks coming for the later sessions next.

Q: Where will I sleep?
A: We can help arrange housing for you in supporters’ homes nearby. If you can afford to arrange your own accommodations, deep thanks.

Q: I asked for housing with a supporter for the week. Tell me what to expect. Should I bring my sleeping bag?
A: Most hosts can offer a comfortable couch or a spare bed. We'll put you in touch with your host and tell you the specifics before you get here. Please bring a hardy spirit, gratitude for whatever your host can offer, and plan to bring sleeping bag and pillow just in case. If you are driving, toss extra sheets, blankets, mattress pads or aerobeds in the car. Campaigns never have enough bedding!

Q: This whole thing seems really hard. Do we actually have a plan to get voters to Early Vote Centers?
A: Yep. A lot of plans, in fact. We'll be working with a "portfolio" of tactics that we developed during Golden Week. You’ll help tweak our strategies throughout the week. It'll be hard work, but you WILL actually get people to vote. We guarantee it.

Q: What's up with van insurance?
A: We will be covering liability and collision insurance for our vehicles. Drivers who are insured under their own liability plans may be able to help us save a BUNDLE of money, though, without opening themselves up to any extra risk. If you're assigned as a driver, can you check to see if you've got a liability plan in place already?

Q: Who's paying for gas?
A: Vote Today Ohio will pay for gas for all vehicles that move voters to the polls, including your car if you need it.

Q: And food?
A: Many of our generous hosts have offered to cook for their guests, but they are not at all required to feed you. So we ask that you be self-reliant in your food needs.

Remember -- many of your SPECIFIC questions (who's my Team Leader? where am I staying?) will be answered as we work out placements.

We're incredibly excited to meet you all!

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