You’re Fired!

You’re Fired!

Come November 7th you will either have a job as a politician or you and your staff will be, well, fired. Back to your regular lives. Are you prepared for that? Will you get to make the impact you wanted to if you don’t get elected?

“But, wait! I want to win my, fill in the blank here, school board seat, city council, mayor…”

It’s full court press time and here are the things you can do to make a positive impact on your campaign.

1. Canvass, Canvass, Canvass

KNOCK ON DOORS! This is no time to be shy or feel like you are imposing, this is GO time. We’ve covered canvassing in previous posts but this is one of the most effective tactics to use. When someone shakes your hand or that of you supporting volunteers they will remember you. Particularly if your opponent isn’t canvassing.

ASK FOR THEIR VOTE! Many times when canvassers go door to door they only talk about what the candidate will do and forget to ask for the vote. “I appreciate your time Mr. Smith, can we count on your vote for our candidate?”

2. Make those phone calls

Are you using a system that will allow you to easily make phone calls and track the outcome? Was it a “no answer”, “left voicemail”, “disconnected”, “no longer at that number” or “talked to them – yes vote”, “talked to them – no vote” or “talked to them – undecided”.

With the exception of “talked to them – yes vote”, you should call back everyone else, particularly this week, one week before the general election.

By now, the system you are using should easily be able to deliver a report of the people and numbers you need to call so you don’t have to spend time sorting paper or spreadsheets.

3. Run Social Media Ads

This should have been a tactic early on but if you didn’t jump on this bandwagon months ago now is the time to get in there.

When you run your ads you get to pick the budget, $50? $500? $5,000? All depends on how large your voter base is, demographics of your voter pool will determine which channels you use and which audience in those channels you will target.

When you run your ad be sure to include a call to action! Many people make the mistake of running ads but forget to ask for what they want – for the voter to make a commitment to vote for them.

The call to action can be clicking a button or asking for their email address so you can follow up with them on the issues.

4. Emailing Works

Think email marketing is dead? Think again. It’s highly effective.  If you have permission to email your constituents you should be emailing them. As with calling, canvassing and ads, there needs to be a clear, concise message coupled with a call to action.

5. Poll Watch

We talked about poll watching in last week’s blog and the importance of that.  Having a representative at each polling place can make the difference between winning the election and losing it.

Getting the data of who has voted and who hasn’t is quite valuable on election day.  This information allows you to know which doors to knock on, who to call and ask if they need a ride to the polling place or simply sending them a text.

By knowing who to not reach out to is just as important as knowing who to reach out to.  If someone has already voted you clearly do not need to spend your time talking with them on election day, when time is of the essence.

Remember, most offices have a minimum number of votes they need to even be voted into office. Which means, even if you run unopposed if you don’t get the minimum number of votes, you still may not win your election.

It’s time to put on your walking shoes, headsets and take a seat at your computer to get the last votes you can get.  Using Handraiser software can help you manage all of these tactics from canvassing to email to calling and most important those last few votes using Poll Watch.






Poll Watching Can Win Your Election

Poll Watching Can Win Your Election

You have spent a lot of time campaigning by knocking on doors, making phone calls and sending out mailers. It’s a lot of hard work and with election day only 15 days away you can’t let up now.  Matter of fact, you are probably increasing your outreach efforts.

What are you going to do on election day?  Are you going to continue to call voters, knock on doors or even text them?  Yes, you should.  The bigger question isn’t who you will call, you should have that list by now from your electoral office. It is knowing which voters to call because they haven’t voted yet.  Spending time reaching out to voters who have already voted isn’t going to help you win your election.

Reaching out to those voters who haven’t voted yet can help you win your election.

This is where poll watching can benefit your campaign.  By definition, a poll watcher is a representative of a political party or of an organization running a candidate who is assigned to the polls on an election day to watch for violations of the laws that regulate voting, campaigning, etc. Their main purpose is to ensure voting laws are being complied with, that intimidation or voter fraud isn’t happening and to challenge voters on their identity if needed.

If you do have a poll watcher at the voting precinct then you’ll be able to get the information on who has voted that day.  This information can then be relayed to the campaign or candidate office so they know who to reach out to.  This is usually done by having poll runners collect the data on paper and taking them back to the campaign office.

Depending on the state will depend if you can have your phone with you or not as a poll watcher.  If you can’t, you might be able to petition the electoral office.  If you can or you get permission, you can use technology to help you mark off who has voted.


Let’s enter into the 21st century and use the technology available to us. Why use poll runners and pen and paper when you can use an app? Even if your polling precinct doesn’t allow electronic devices you can still tally the information and then walk outside and send the information electronically.

Voter-marked as voted in Handraiser app.


Handraiser has an app that will help you track this data and it automatically reports it back to your voter database.  Handraiser allows you to upload your voter file that typically has name, address, phone number and a place to mark if they have voted at the polls or not.

This is a very efficient way to work with your volunteers to let them know who to reach out to on election day.  When time is of the essence on election day, your volunteers will now know who to call, what doors to knock on and even who to offer rides to the polls.

Every vote counts, you owe it to your campaign to give it every chance to win that you can.

Canvassing Wins Political Races

Walk The Walk, Talk The Talk

It’s GO time for every candidate, three weeks out from election day and every voter contact can be a vote for you.  This week, we are going to focus on good old-fashioned canvassing.  That’s right, get your walking shoes on, your bottle of water and your walking list…it’s time to hit the streets!

handraiser iphoneCanvassing is as old as campaigning and is very effective.  Matter of fact, most candidates don’t do it enough.  Voters will remember the candidate more if they have personal contact with the campaign whether it’s the candidate or a volunteer. Your candidate or cause will have a higher probability of winning if you outwork your candidate.

There are some basic tactics to use when canvassing to improve your chances of talking with voters.

  1. A good walking list is imperative. This is where your voter file comes in handy. At Handraiser, we even load this into an app so it easier to track supporters, supports or opponents, not home, moved, etc. Maximize the time you spend canvassing by working smart. Written sheets or even spreadsheets are ineffective and archaic.
  2. Knock on EVERY door, even if it looks like they aren’t at home. Once you knock or ring the door bell, wait 45-60 seconds and take a big step back to give the resident personal space. The average for doors being answered is 30% so don’t get discouraged, just keep moving on to the next door.  Leave information in the door but never in their mailbox (that is illegal – only the postman can leave information in the mailbox.) Spend no more than five minutes per door.  You are trying to reach as many voters as possible and still provide great information.
  3. Three points! Be ready to talk about your three main campaign points. Be able to answer why they would vote for your candidate, what will they get if your candidate wins and be prepared to concisely review the three main campaign points.
  4. Pay attention to neighborhood demographics. People are more at ease if they are talking to their peers, similar age and gender. Go in pairs, ideally a man and a woman.
  5. Water, snacks and dog treats are all important to take with you. It’s important to stay hydrated, particularly since you’ll be talking a lot. If you wear sunglasses, be sure to remove them before knocking on the door.
  6. When someone does answer the door follow your script and deliver the three main points of the candidate or cause. Your goal is to get a verbal commitment from them and they will vote for the candidate or issue you are canvassing about.
  7. SMILE and be polite if they don’t agree with your candidate or cause.
  8. Record every stop. Did someone answer, did you talk with the voter? A different voter? Do they support your cause? Do they support the opponent? Can they get to the polls? Do they need a ride?

It’s important to know the outcome of each door canvassed, particularly for election day. Handraiser can track a lot of information when canvassing.  One of the most important things to track is if the voter supports the candidate or if they are indifferent.  This will give you the opportunity to canvass them on election day if you receive real-time voter updates from the polls (which Handraiser can track as well.)

Here’s a one-minute video on how to use technology to canvass.


Would you like to see a demo of how Handraiser’s canvassing app can help you win your election? Click here to schedule a time or send us a note.


Printed and Designed Materials

Running a campaign comprises more than just registering as a candidate and letting your friends and family know you are running for political office.  It involves putting up a website, social media pages, fundraising and canvassing.

Canvassing is a huge part of campaigning but what do you leave behind when you speak with your constituent?  There are a number of items you can handout.  Let’s take a look at effective political campaign materials.

  1. Postcard – multi-faceted in its use.  You can mail them and hand them out when you go door to door canvassing neighborhoods.  You can also use them at rallies or when you are talking with neighbors. Inexpensive and effective in getting the word out about your candidacy.

    Postcard from
  2. Posters – posters are an effective means of promotion of your candidacy and can be put up in libraries, local coffee shops, festivals, etc. Of course, you will want to get permission before hanging up your political poster but it’s a good way to get exposure and your message out at the same time.
  3. Brochures – like postcards they are inexpensive to print and can have a big impact.  These are items you should carry with you at all times so when you are talking with potential voters you can hand them information about you and your platform.

If you are on a tight budget, and most candidates are, how will you get your printed material (and logo for that fact) designed?  You actually have some inexpensive options.

  1. Most print companies have designers on staff.  Vistaprint will design material starting at $5 and if you order the design they apply the design fee to the purchase.

    Template from
  2. is a free tool that allows you to easily design postcards, brochures, posters, etc.  You can download print quality files and have a printing company print them for you.
  3. and are sites with freelancers that will do anything from design a website to graphic designers. Look for freelancers with 5-star ratings and 90%+ re-hire for the best talent.

What should go on your printed material is of utmost importance when designing your printed material.  Make sure your message is clear and concise, it is uncluttered and it is easy to read what you stand for and why.  You won’t have a lot of time to grab someone’s attention, you will want to make sure that your message stands out.

Want to know how Handraiser can help you win your election? Schedule a live demo here!