With the hundreds of things campaigns have to think about leading up to Election Day, one of the things that often gets put aside until the last minute is a Get Out The Vote plan.
A proper GOTV plan is embedded in the campaign plan, months before Election Day. But when you're running for the first time, thinking about turning out your supporters in November isn't always priority #1.
If you're scrambling at the last minute to make sure your voters get to the polls, here's a quick, last minute, "it'll have to do" substitute for a well planned GOTV operation.
Get your most ardent supporters together in a room, either on Election Day or a day or two before. Get the candidate, his or her spouse and any family members, particularly those who are well connected there. Get the campaign manager and any other campaign volunteers and get any donors or other strong supporters. Essentially, get anyone who knows the community and is willing to give up a few hours to help get you across the finish line.
Find a list of voters - either electronically or on paper. You can get that from the county clerk, secretary of state or the local party.
Then have each person in the room go through the list and circle or highlight the voters they know personally and who are likely to support your candidacy.
These are now your GOTV lists. On Election Day, have each person who was in the planning session call, facebook message, tweet, email or text everyone on their list to remind them to vote. Also have everyone go vote themselves, and "check in" on social media at the polling location with a message that they're supporting you.
Because voters are far more likely to turn out when someone they know reminds them to vote, this system should help you pick up a few votes, and if the race is close, it might just be enough to get you across the finish line.
If you would like to get more campaign tips, you can check out "Running for Office" magazine, subscribe to the blog or connect with me on twitter or LinkedIn. You can also get an campaign tips emailed to you once a week by signing up to to the right of this post.