Get Your Supporters to the Polls with our Polling Place Locator
If you’re engaged in political advocacy, it’s crucial that you get your supporters to make their voice heard and cast their vote.
Endorsing a candidate is one way to show your supporters which candidate shares your ideals. But how do you make sure your constituents actually get to the polls and check that box, especially during an election where many people’s voting plans have been altered by COVID-19?
Planned Parenthood, the Communication Workers of America, and the League of Conservation Voters have all used Upland Mobile Messaging’s Polling Place Locator to guide their supporters to the polls during elections. It’s a simple way to tell your constituents where and how to go vote.
How Our Polling Place Locator Works
Here’s how it works: You send out a text broadcast to your users asking them to provide their address in exchange for the location of the place where they can cast their vote.
When your constituents respond with their address, our platform finds the designated polling place for that address in our database, and the user immediately receives the information back via text message.
These tactics can also be used to help voters find their early voting information, or even the dropbox where they can drop off their ballot.
The polling place locator is more than just an information lookup. It also serves as a reminder. By showing your supporters where to go to the polls, you’re also prompting them to actually get up and go.
It’s also simple to incorporate into proven-effective tactics, like Make a Plan to Vote. You can effectively run your entire GOTV strategy over text. That’s especially meaningful when you’re trying to mobilize underserved communities that do not have smartphones or reliable Internet access.
Best Practices for Getting Your Voters to the Polls
Implementing a polling place locator into your GOTV strategy is a great way to keep your voters informed, but how do you make sure they follow through once they have this information?
The best time to send your polling locator information is within a few days of when your subscribers plan to vote. Send it too early, and voters may forget. Send it too late, and it’s possible your subscribers may have decided not to vote because they didn’t know where to go. If you use text campaigns to help subscribers make a plan to vote, use the day that they plan to vote to time your broadcast accordingly.
It’s also important to make sure you know your audience. If you have a significant Spanish-speaking sector of your audience, consider making this information available in a Spanish-language broadcast as well. This can also be set up in Upland Mobile Messaging.
Finally, make sure you have a fall-back option if the locator cannot find a user’s polling place location. This could be a nonpartisan voter hotline, or if your organization has a preferred resource, mention this in your response. That way, you don’t unintentionally suppress a vote by telling a user that their polling place cannot be found.
To learn more about how you can mobilize your voters, watch our on-demand GOTV During COVID-19 webinar, or talk to your Customer Success Manager today!
This post was originally published in March 2016. It was updated on October 7, 2020 to include the latest GOTV information.