Experienced voter-registration and Get Out The Vote (GOTV) organizations have found that simple forms of social persuasion directed to strategically targeted individuals have the greatest impact on voter turnout. For us, that means targeting people who already identify the environment and/or environmental justice as a top priority but who seldom vote. A large body of election research shows that personalized, peer-to-peer outreach (letters, phone calls, texts, and in-person conversations) can successfully motivate such people to act on their values and vote.
Our plan in a nutshell:
- Recruit a huge flock of birders to reach out to their networks of birders and nature lovers (as well as their family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc.)
- Lead the entire flock to take part in GOTV efforts focused on strategically identified individuals in swing states & districts.
Our recruitment of other birders is issues-focused, aiming to inspire and energize birders based on our shared passion for birds, birding, the environment, nature, environmental justice, fighting climate change, and related issues.
Our GOTV work—phone-banking, letter-writing, texting, canvassing (if it can be done safely)—is non-partisan and voting-focused, utilizing voter-turnout methods and messaging proven to be most effective.
Ally organizations have already identified pro-environment and pro–environmental justice voters in swing states and key districts, places where unprecedented turnout of environmental and environmental-justice voters is crucial. The outcome of the races in these states and districts will have momentous impact on the future of vulnerable birds, vulnerable habitats, and vulnerable communities for years—possibly decades—to come. These races include the race for President, for contested U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representative seats, and races for state legislatures and governorships in states at risk for partisan gerrymandering or where partisan gerrymandering needs to be undone.
Auk the Vote! may organize and run GOTV events of our own, depending on our volunteer staffing capacity. Either way, we will be partnering with environmental and environmental-justice groups already doing effective GOTV work.