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How to Canvass Door-to-Door for Your Candidate

The glamour of elections derives from hard work in the trenches. Learn the joy of doing something you care about and you might actually change the world some day.


  • Step 1: Thank people for their time, ask if you can count on their vote, and inform them about early voter eligibility requirements. Offer potential voters the option of free rides to the county's Voter Registration Office if they're not registered.
  • Step 2: Keep track of voter responses. Record complex questions with the asker's contact information so the campaign headquarters can answer them later.
  • FACT: Nearly 2/3 of voters in the 18 to 29 age group in the 2008 U. S. presidential election preferred Barack Obama.
  • Step 3: Introduce yourself respectfully and clearly. Never enter anyone's home, and don't argue issues or opinions. Provide information and then move on.
  • TIP: Pack a lunch with lots of water.
  • Step 4: Make sure volunteers have directions and know how long they will be working. Provide transit vouchers or set up car pools.
  • Step 5: Dressing appropriately -- no T-shirts, sagging pants, or dirty tennis shoes. Brush up on your manners and demeanor, and be sure to smile.
  • Step 6: Meet ahead of time in the area you will canvass. Train everyone in talking points and make block or neighborhood assignments. Provide packets with addresses, maps, and candidate literature.
  • Step 7: Arrange a door-to-door canvass for your candidate when most people will be at home -- just after dinner during the week and on weekend afternoons.

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