Texting with When We All Vote
Thank you for signing up to help text eligible voters across the country with When We All Vote! There are a lot of ways to talk to citizens about how to access helpful voting resources and this is one of the best ways to meet voters where they are—on their phones!
Below are resources to help you become a When We All Vote texting pro!
Please note: Please only send texts to potential voters from 9 am to 9 pm, local time.
Step 1: Watch the training video
In this training video, our team walks you through how to get on OutVote, the When We All Vote relational organizing platform that easily helps you reach out to friends and family, as well as text voters all over the country.
Step 2: Download OutVote
When We All Vote uses a platform called OutVote to send text messages to potential voters, so you’ll never be texting from your own phone number.
You can access OutVote right from your phone or tablet.*Download OutVote
Step 3: Start texting and taking action!
Texting eligible voters in OutVote is a simple, easy, and effective way to make an impact in your community and across the country.
There are three principles to remember when texting:
- 1) Always be polite. As a volunteer, you represent the organization.
- 2) Only send texts to potential voters from 9 am to 9 pm, the local time of the person you’re texting
- 3) When a voter responds to you in OutVote, the most effective and best practice is to follow-up with them within the hour—so make sure you’re setting aside time not just to text, but to have the conversation as well!
- If people ask not to be messaged, immediately opt them out.
Now that you’ve downloaded OutVote and are ready to gets started, learn about how to start texting:Read the WWAV Volunteer Texting Guide
A few more reminders as you get started:
- Don’t get discouraged if people respond negatively when you send the initial text. If anyone responds with stop, says they will not be 18 by election day, or responds with any hostile comments, you should not continue the conversation. Opt them out immediately.
- Don’t feel like you need to have all the answers. We want to direct voters to resources that can answer their questions because laws vary by state.
- Don’t engage in a conversation about political candidates, parties or specific issues. When We All Vote is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization and it is against the law for us to engage in partisan politics.
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions that you’ll come across while doing peer-to-peer texting, with guidance on how to respond. If you have additional questions, please email [email protected].
Q: What if I get asked a really specific question that I don’t know how to answer?
A: It’s ok — as a volunteer you don’t need to be an expert. Voting and voting laws can be complicated and we want to direct them to experts. Have them call 1-866-OUR-VOTE to answer their questions. One of the canned responses allows you to send this hotline number to them.
Q: What if someone responds to me the next day or after a text bank?
A: That’s ok! The most effective thing you can do to help register potential voters is to respond and make sure the voter has all of the information they need. Just remember to respond back within the hour if you can. If a potential voter has more questions, let them know to reach out via email at [email protected].
Q: What if I’m asked how I got their number?
A: Many people will be curious and you can let them know that their number was pulled from a publicly available database. If they’re uncomfortable with that, you can offer to opt them out to stop them from receiving more messages.
Q: What’s When We All Vote?
A: When We All Vote is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that is on a mission to increase voter participation in every election and close the race and age voting gap by changing the culture around voting. Be sure to let people know that When We All Vote is a non-partisan, not-for-profit co-chaired by Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Janelle Monae, and more!
Q: What if I’m asked if WWAV is trying to elect Democrats? Win back the White House? Support or defeat Trump?
A: Never get into a conversation about partisan politics. As a non-profit, nonpartisan organization, this is a very serious issue for When We All Vote. Let people know that When We All Vote is a non-partisan organization and that our mission is to help all eligible voters register to vote this fall. We do not support any candidates, parties, or support a particular position on issues. We want everyone to register and be ready to vote—regardless of whom they may support.
Q: Can I offer people anything in exchange for registering to vote?
A: No. It is against the law to offer anything that can be seen as an incentive to register to vote or to go out and vote.
Q: What do I do if I receive a vulgar message in response?
A: Keep calm and carry on. Don’t respond — just opt this person out. Unfortunately people can be very mean over text. Keep going because it is more important to reach others who need to be communicated with!
Q: I think I have texted the same person multiple times when they say “stop texting me”. Is this possible?
A: Our system will not allow you to text the same person twice. Please opt them out and move to the next person.
One last reminder:
Please only send texts to potential voters from 9 am to 9 pm, their time.