Have you ever been to a grocery store during the political campaign season? If so, you’ve likely encountered canvassers collecting commit-to-vote (CTV) pledges. Canvassers or campaign volunteers using the CTV approach first ask individuals if they intend to vote for their candidate. If the voter says yes, the campaign then asks them to sign a pledge documenting their intent to vote.
But according to behavioral scientist and GOTV pro, Robert Reynolds, there are two big flaws to CTV pledge drives. First, there’s not much evidence that CTV drives turnout voters. In fact — and here’s the second problem — some voters find the CTV approach condescending. Because individuals are asked to sign a pledge after they’ve already said they’ll vote, the voter essentially hears the campaign saying, “Your word isn’t enough. We’re going to need that in writing.” That’s not the message a candidate or campaign wants to send would-be supporters. Fortunately, there’s another practice that experts believe makes voters feel empowered and brings more ballots to the box on Election Day. Meet vote tripling.
What Is Vote Tripling?
While CTV pledge drives suggest that an individual’s verbal confirmation alone cannot be trusted, a vote tripling effort asks nonactivists to make sure just three of their friends participate in the upcoming election. Then, the campaign helps the new tripler keep their pledge by sending them personalized reminders before important election milestones, like registration deadlines and early voting windows.
The vote tripling approach makes sense. The same nonactivist group that vote tripling is designed to target is made up of people who are unlikely to volunteer for a political campaign and aren’t interested in mobilizing more than three or so friends but have the voting power to boost a campaign’s turnout by as much as 12%. Not only does vote tripling engage the nonactivist voter and reinforce their intent to vote, but this method also extends campaign outreach efforts and touches more voters than the traditional CTV can. In this case, about three times more!
Vote Tripling with Social Actions
The best way to reach more voters with a vote tripling campaign on Facebook is with the Social Actions feature in ActionSprout. Not only do Social Actions help campaigns keep in touch with those who’ve pledged to be vote triplers, but it also makes it easier for those supporters to stay engaged and excited about their pledge.
Here’s how to set up your vote tripling Social Action:
- Go to the Social Actions section of your ActionSprout account and create a new petition action.
- Edit the fields so they match the sample action.
- Post it to your Facebook page.
- Promote it with Facebook ads to people in your district.
- Export the list of people who pledge to do it. (Remember: The list will also include email addresses and any other contact information you require.)
- Send those people emails, reminding them to encourage their friends when the time is right.
New to Social Actions? Visit our help page to get started.