Work the Polls | Build a Campaign

Work the polls

On this journey, you will be asking people to sign up to work the polls, with the goal of ensuring a smooth voting process in the 2020 election. We’ll walk you through how the voter organization “More Than A Vote,” led by NBA superstar LeBron James, launched a national campaign called “We Got Next” to address the poll worker shortage ahead of November 3.

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    Important Deadlines

    Before you start your campaign planning make sure you know all the important election deadline dates in your state.


    Know Your Audience

    The first step in building your Work The Polls campaign is determining who you are trying to reach and what is the best way to reach them.

    Poll workers are critical to elections running smoothly. They are tasked with preparing the polling location, welcoming voters, verifying voter registrations, issuing ballots and explaining voting procedures.

    Sure, it may not be the most glamorous job, but it’s definitely a rewarding one. Poll workers are the unsung heroes of elections. Often thought of as the gatekeepers of democracy, they truly make all the difference.

    The issue is few people want to be poll workers, and a national shortage of poll workers could pose serious problems on Election Day, like long lines and voter confusion.

    We Got Next targets the youth

    The campaign focuses on getting young people to work polling locations in Black communities in swing states, including Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida and Ohio. To expand its reach, the campaign partnered with an impressive collective of athletes and artists, including NFL star Patrick Mahomes, WNBA star Skylar Diggins-Smith, Kevin Hart, Bun B, and Offset.

    Be prepared to address any potential concerns or objections. Meet apathy with excitement.


    Establish a POV

    Before you can persuade your audience of anything, you will need to decide what you will say to them. This is your campaign message or point of view (POV).

    Having a clear and concise POV will be critical to the success of your campaign. And being able to articulate your POV with authority and conviction will boost your credibility in the eyes of your audience.

    With answers to these questions, you can begin to craft your POV. The following characteristics make a strong POV:

    • Short and straightforward
    • Credible and persuasive
    • Personal and memorable

    Voting should be accessible

    “More Than a Vote” is all about ensuring that voting is safe, fair and accessible for everyone. The campaign POV channels the power of the collective with provocative taglines like: "Democracy is not a spectator sport” and “Our right to vote won’t be taken away on our watch.”


    Convince people to act with a CTA

    Congrats on some awesome progress so far! At this point, you know who your audience is, and you know what you want to communicate to them. It’s time to decide on the action(s) you are going to ask them to take.

    Text us. We can help.

    Having trouble getting started? Not sure how to get your campaign in front of people? Text us your questions!

    A call to action, also known as a CTA, is an invitation to a viewer, reader, or listener to perform a specific act. “Join us,” “Register to vote,” and “Make a plan to vote,” are all examples of CTAs.

    We Got Next asks youths to work the polls

    Help your community and sign up to become a poll worker so that all voices can count in this election. The campaign also diffuses intimidation with a reassurance: “Don’t worry: you don’t need any previous experience as a poll worker. You will receive a complete training, PPE, and in most jurisdictions, you will be paid a stipend for your work on Election Day.”


    Map the Journey and Set Goals

    You know what you stand for. And you know what you want your audience to do. How do you guide them there and what goals have you set for the campaign?

    Set some tangible goals. Decide how many people you want to register: Five? More? 100? It’s up to you! The important part is you know what you are trying to achieve.

    Next, envision the steps your audience will need to take to perform the desired action(s). For this, it might be helpful to put yourself in the shoes of your audience.

    Maybe it’s with rhetorical questions like:

    • Do you want to serve your community?
    • Do you believe elections should be safe, fair and efficient?
    • Do you think our democracy works best when everyone is counted?

    The More Than a Vote journey is online and offline

    The campaign website is central to the success of the “We Got Next” campaign. It allows visitors to check if they’re registered to vote and sign up to power the polls.

    Offline, the strategy is even more creative. The campaign is working with NBA teams to convert stadiums into polling sites, and sending out voter protection kits that contain masks, gloves, hand sanitizers and voting information cards.


    Get creative

    Create some content to communicate your POV and get your audience excited about your campaign.

    What is a visually compelling way to reimagine your POV? Build a small library of visual content, like posters, postcards, signs, pamphlets, banners, billboards, photos or videos.

    More Than a Vote is personalizing assets

    The campaign has rolled out ads and mailings in targeted states across the country. Fun fact: The mailings include letters from James himself!

    No time for design?

    Trusted Resources

    Not all of us are graphic designers or videographers. If you are not a visual communicator, rely on others in your community to make your creative vision come to life. Or, feel free to tap into our suite of digital assets.

    Use Our Resources


    Once you launch your Work The Polls campaign, keep note of what is working and what isn’t working. That way, you can make adjustments the next time around.

    You don’t have to be LeBron James to launch a successful campaign. You also don’t have to sign up 10,000 volunteers to work the polls. Every single bit helps. You’re doing great.