Phonebanking Guide

Current volunteers:

If you are already signed up as a DVC Phonebanking volunteer, and you need information on campaigns to call, please email help@demvolctr.org and we’ll get back to you with access to our campaigns list.

With traditional events and canvassing on hold, phonebanking is more important than ever, and we need you to start now! Calling early does three things:

  • Clean up the list of voters by removing bad numbers
  • Identify supporters
  • Recruit more volunteers.

We must do this now so that when we get close to election day, we know we’re calling only supporters who will be encouraged to cast their vote for our candidates.

To join our at-home phonebankers:

Once you’re signed up as a DVC phonebanker, we’ll provide a link that has information about campaigns you can call for, where to start each campaign, and details about how to get help with phonebanking. If you’re new to phonebanking or just want to brush up, you can access a recording of our webinar here. We’re also providing the webinar slides here for easy reference.

Have questions? Email help@demvolctr.org your phonebanking questions.

You can also email weloveourdemocracy@gmail.com to get trained for Reclaim Our Vote phonebanking from home.

Tips for Phonebanking Success 

  • New to phonebanking? Read about it below, and/or watch our recorded webinar and see the slides to learn the basics.
  • If you’re calling for Joe Biden, make sure you’ve seen our DVC Joe Biden webinar.
  • Each week, make time to phonebank during our scheduled phonebanking shifts when DVC phonebanking experts will be standing by to help you. Start your shift by checking in with us on Zoom for any recent updates.
  • Keep phonebanking as many days as you can.
  •  If you need help other days of the week, email help@demvolctr.org and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Phonebanking: The How and Why

What is phonebanking?

A phonebank is a coordinated effort by a campaign to talk with voters, using official state and local voter lists to decide who to call. These lists contain every registered voter, combined with information from previous campaigns and the DNC.

We make calls:

  • To encourage people to register, complete ballots, and vote for Democrats.
  • To find volunteers.
  • But especially to gather data for future action.

Every call is a good call!

  • All data is good! Even the bad and the ugly!
  • Data from voters who do not like our candidate is a Good Call!
  • Wrong or disconnected numbers are Good Calls!
  • Finding out a voter has deceased is sad, but the call itself is a Good Call!

Why is this good?

  • We’re cleaning the lists to prepare for GOTV (Get Out the Vote).
  • GOTV is typically the final days of the campaign when we call/knock on doors of every voter who’s been identified as a supporter.
  • We need them to vote! Without their vote, We Won’t Win!

Why phonebank now?

  • Early voter engagement is key!
  • Next to knocking on doors, phonebanking is proven to be the most effective way to reach voters.
  • This year, early knocking on doors will be limited due to Coronavirus.
  • We must clean up the voter lists for 2020.
  • We need to identify both supporters and non-supporters.
  • We need lots of volunteers, and everyone we call needs to talk to 10 more people!
  • Many voters may have not been contacted in a while and we need to make sure our voter lists are up to date.

First step: Your phonebanking account

Most campaigns the DVC supports use either an ActionID or Bluevote to log you in so you can start calling. You’ll need to create an ActionID or register for Bluevote before you begin calling.  Just follow these steps:

Create your ActionID 

  1. Go to https://www.openvpb.com/VirtualPhoneBank/ and click the Get Started, then click the ‘Create an ActionID account’ link:
    actionID signup screen
  2. To complete your signup, check your email for a message from no-reply@ngpvan.com (if you don’t see it, check your junk mail folder)
  3. Click on Confirm My Account
  4. Once you complete these steps, you should see the ActionID’s webpage with a “Thanks for verifying…” message

Remember your email address and password!

How to Phonebank using your ActionID

  1. Go to the DVC’s “Calls Page” (phonebankers are emailed a link to this page; email help@demvolctr.org if you can’t find it).
  2. Click on the link for the candidate you want to call for.
  3.  Enter your email address and your password.
  4. You’ll be taken to information on your first voter.
  5. Start calling!

Create your “bluevote” login 

You will first need to register (once registered, you will not have to repeat this step).

  1. Click here to go to bluevote, then click the ‘Click here to Register’ link.
    bluevote signup screen
  2. Complete the registration form (you will be asked for your email address each time you start phonebanking). Entering your phone number and street address is optional.
  3. Click on “Confirm Registration” to submit

How to Phonebank using “bluevote” 

  1. Go to the DVC’s “Calls Page” (phonebankers are emailed a link to this page; email help@demvolctr.org if you can’t find it).
  2. Enter the email address you used to register.
  3. Enter the “DVC – Palo Alto” as the Volunteer Organization.
  4. You’ll be taken to information on your first voter.
  5. Start calling!

Making calls – Using the script and being yourself

  • Review the script and put it in your own words.
  • Learn about your candidate from their website.
  • Get key voting information: visit vote.org for information about voting by mail, voter registration, finding polling places, and more for any state.
  • Understand how to mark voter responses.
  • Feeling nervous?
  • Most people are nervous at first!
  • Remind yourself why you’re doing this, and all that is at stake.
  • It’s okay to make mistakes – we all do!
  • Worried that a voter will yell at you? It happens. Just move on.
  • Don’t have all the answers? It’s fine! Refer them to the candidate’s website. Or, get their phone number and call them back.

Phonebanking etiquette: Make the most of your calls

  • Call when it is convenient for the voter – check the time zone of the state you’re calling.
  • Be brief and get to the point.
  • Smile and be upbeat.
  • Make a personal connection with the voter (“My aunt lived in Wichita” …)
  • Tell the voter why YOU support the candidate.
  • No need to argue with a voter! Just move on.
  • Be prepared for all types of voters (Grouchy, hang ups and even some swearing!)
  • You WILL talk with voters who like your candidate.
  • Thank the voter for taking your call and for voting.

To leave messages, or not to leave messages

Most campaigns do not want us to leave messages. Why?

  • It can take too long to leave a message – time is better spent making calls.
  • Most people don’t listen to them if they don’t know you.
  • It is not a way to identify supporters and track your calls.
  • People get annoyed by phone messages.
  • They may be less likely to talk when reached later.

Please do NOT leave messages unless the campaign specifically asks you to.

IMPORTANT: Tracking your data

Marking voter’s responses is the key to cleaning up our data. Responses include:

  • Not home – the voter doesn’t pick up the phone, they will be called again
  • Busy – same as not home
  • Wrong number, Disconnected
  • Refused – when the voter explicitly tells you to leave them alone
  • Deceased – sad, but important data to clean up list
  • Do they support our candidate – and other campaign-specific questions?
  • If told by another member of a household that the voter will not vote for our candidate, then because they are not the voter – mark as not-home and the voter the will be called again
  • Will they volunteer?!

You CAN do this!