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It’s time for GOTV! An organized Get-Out-The-Vote operation is integral to the success of every campaign from presidential to school committee. So the real question here is how can you use NationBuilder to ensure your supporters Get-Out-The-Vote?

By now you have logged all of your contacts in your nation and identified who your supporters are, it is time to start pulling GOTV universes. Tracking certain metrics in your campaign will ensure you have the best universe for your GOTV operation. The exact filter criteria will vary campaign-to-campaign but some best practices can include filtering on those supporters who need that extra reminder to get to the polls.

Once you have the confirmed GOTV universes it is time to divide and conquer. This is where NationBuilder paths will come in and help you move supporters along your GOTV plan. Creating a campaign specific GOTV path will be the central hub of your GOTV and Election Day workflows and adding specific completion and abandonment reasons will make your post Election Day analysis that much cleaner.


Now that the infrastructure is in place you can start to transition your campaign from the persuasion phase into your GOTV phase. Some campaigns will lock in their GOTV universe a week out others a day before, either way on Election Day there should be no persuasion attempts as you could be getting out the vote for your opposition. The Get-Out-The-Vote operation need only identify those voters who have already been persuaded and motivate them to go to the polls. 

The ultimate goal of your GOTV operation is to ensure everyone in your GOTV universe goes to the polls on Election Day. In your selected time period for GOTV your campaign team should aim to contact all of your supporters at least once, ideally several times. When you are creating your walk/phone lists always make sure to household voters as “voter contacts have strong spillover effects within households, boosting participation by others as much as 60%.” When your volunteers are reaching out to these supporters it’s great to check in on their plan to vote, you can note this on each supporters profile in NationBuilder with an Election Day vote time tag, with this data you can target your outreach for Election Day based on the time slots people had selected as their vote time.


The typical grassroots methods of door-to-door canvassing, phone banking, and direct mail are all tactics that should be used during this phase. These can be enhanced with targeted social media ads to your GOTV universe and email blasts to your supporters. It is very important to remember email consent in this phase of your campaign, with the election around the corner your supporters are receiving emails from a lot of political groups and candidates so be sure to have explicit consent before blasting.

So now it’s Election Day! All of the hours over the past days, weeks and months come down to how many of your supporters actually get to the polls and cast their ballot. Your goal is to make sure every supporter in your GOTV universe knows where to vote and the time that their polling location opens and closes. A well orchestrated GOTV operation can put your campaign over the top, getting those less likely voters to the polls who wouldn’t have gone without your GOTV touches. 

RSVP for our upcoming webinar where I will be diving into all of the NationBuilder features that can help you go that extra mile in these crucial last few weeks. For more political NationBuilder gems, be sure to signup for blog updates on the NationBuilder blog.

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