The coronavirus outbreak turned the world upside down, and that includes the political world with the 2020 campaigns well underway when the world shut down, leaving the campaigns you support without their ground game. Just because you can’t knock on doors or attend events to support the issues you care about doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference this election season, you just have to do it a little differently.
If you have the financial ability, political campaigns need donations now more than ever. With a limit on what volunteers can do, campaigns must turn to other paid media options, including more mail, phones, television and digital ads, and those don’t come cheap. Even $25 to a candidate you support can go a long way to help them keep up their efforts.
If you were planning to knock on doors, phone calls to voters can also be a powerful tool. When you volunteer to help a campaign make phone calls, you can help them reach difficult voters to contact – the ones who list their cell phone number on their voter registration since many automated systems can’t contact them. If you have a few hours to spare, reach out to a campaign and let them know you will make calls, and an unpaid volunteer giving their time makes a huge impact with voters.
Have you told your friends on social media who you’re supporting and why? A personal endorsement from you online can introduce the candidate you support to a whole new audience of your friends, and a good word from you can make a huge difference. You can also use your social media to remind your friends about important races where they live and encourage them to get out and vote when the time comes. Just be careful to keep your messages accurate as not to trigger any “fake news” flags, and don’t over spam your friends because you don’t want them to tune you out.
Just because you’re social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference in this election; it just may take a little more creativity, and candidates need it now more than ever. There are countless ways you can support campaigns, including letters to the editor, waving signs on busy intersections, or even pulling out some chalk. Just make sure you’re not breaking any laws, and maybe run the idea by the campaign first if you’re unsure.
During this time of COVID-19 we have to stand together, and for many political candidates, they made the commitment to put their names on the ballot before the first case in the United States. We don’t know what will come as we get closer to November, but just because you can’t volunteer like you planned doesn’t mean you can’t still make your voice heard and make a difference in your community. Just be safe and cautious and get to work advocating for the candidates and issues that mean the most to you.