October 10, 2008

About Vote Today Ohio

NOW: Phase Two (Oct 22 - Nov 3) - Finishing the Job

On October 22nd, Vote Today Ohio will launch PHASE TWO of this groundbreaking initiative. Given the momentum of our voter mobilization efforts during Golden Week, we want to continue to help Ohioans take advantage of early voting. We want to build on our successes and offer more people rides to the polls - people who typically don't vote, people who wonder if their vote really matters, people who are often too burdened with the daily hardships of real life to stand in long lines on November 4th.

We have a great team and a great plan, but there is much work to do. Be a part of this. Visit our volunteer page and sign up to help make a difference in Ohio. And/or make a donation.

History depends on it.


THEN: Grabbing hold of Golden Week (Sept 30 - Oct 6)
(originally posted September 13)

Two years ago, Ohio changed its voting laws in a way that creates an extraordinary opportunity for more voters to participate in the democratic process.

Vote Today Ohio will use this change to lock down thousands of votes before election day -- critical insurance against the kinds of election day problems that affected our past two presidential elections.

For a 7-day "Golden Week," from Sept 30 - Oct 6, Ohio residents can walk into an early voting center, register to vote, and vote on the spot. This has never been possible before. Why does it matter? Because it takes what is normally a two-step process (register, wait a month, THEN vote) and turns it into a one-step process (register AND vote at the same time). For organizers, that creates a much more efficient way to bring new voters into the process AND lock down their votes, before they can be manipulated, stolen or lost.

During this new Golden Week and throughout the Early Voting window, Vote Today Ohio aims to turn out voters from two kinds of locations -- college campuses, and urban gathering spots. The model is simple: teams of organizers will shuttle students / young people from campuses / urban centers to early voting centers. Organizers will use music and a party atmosphere to draw in new voters -- instead of knock and drag, it's rock and drag.

The Plan in Detail

• 20 Teams : Vote Today Ohio will recruit 12 teams of campus organizers and 8 teams of urban organizers (for a total of 80 organizers). Most teams will have 5 members -- two drivers, two street team organizers, one team leader.

• Preparation: In the days leading up to early voting week, teams will plaster their campuses / urban centers with materials about early voting week. Team leaders will generate publicity in school newspapers, radio stations, and via online campus channels, Facebook, etc.

• Logistics: During early voting week, teams will set up vote ferry stations, where students and unlikely voters can get a ride to a polling station in a Vote Today Ohio van. Two drivers will run continuous ferries to and from polling stations.

• Training and GOTV: Each team will be instruct voters on Ohio new voting rights, rules and regulations. Organizers and van drivers will be given talking points and coached on how to recruit voters as Early Vote Volunteers who can then turn out their social networks. Volunteers will also be re-recruited for continuing persuasion and GOTV activities from Oct 6 - Nov 4.

• Non-van GOTV: Any voter who wants to register but can't vote early will have the opportunity to register and sign up for an absentee ballot.

Target Campuses:

• Ohio State University
• Ohio University
• University of Toledo
• University of Cincinnati
• Kent State
• University of Dayton
• Cuyahoga Community College
• Bowling Green State

Target Urban Areas:

• Columbus
• Cleveland
• Cincinnati
• Dayton
• Toledo

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