Get Out The Vote
We are weeks away from the most consequential election of our lifetimes. The next slate of leaders we choose will need to lead a recovery from the pandemic, address centuries of racial injustice, and take strong action to prevent climate chaos.
While all eyes are on the Presidential race, it’s equally crucial to elect progressive champions to Congress. In 2020 we have the opportunity to take back the Senate and bolster leadership in the House of Representatives. Big change, not a return to normal, is what we need right now. And winning races up and down the ballot, as we did in 2018 and 2008, is the only sure way to deliver a “wave” election that makes big change possible.
But none of that will happen if voters who care about climate change, clean air and water, or a livable planet stay home. That’s why Friends of the Earth Action is building a Get Out the Vote Volunteer Team to make sure every environmental vote is counted. And we need your help.
Below is everything you need to volunteer with Friends of the Earth Action.
Friends of the Earth Action needs volunteers like you to call and text environmental voters in key districts. These one-on-one conversations between volunteers and voters are the most effective form of voter persuasion and turnout – much more impactful than tv ads or social media. You can volunteer from the safety of your home — and you never have to give your phone number to strangers.
We need your help this year, because we’re going big in terms of contacting voters. Altogether, our plan is to make nearly half a million voter contact calls and texts before the polls close.
Why this election matters
The stakes for this election — and for voting progressives into Congress — are as high as they get.
We all know about the presidential race — where the soul of democracy and the future of the planet are on the ballot this year.
In addition, the next Congress will decide whether to advance a just transition to renewable energy and phase out fossil fuels — or drive us further to climate chaos. It will direct resources people over corporate polluters — or it will continue to bail out Big Oil.
Taken together, 2020 is our chance to deliver the big change our climate, communities, and planet need. This isn’t a moment to hold back or wait and see. We all need to do everything we can to not only win, but make this a wave election on the scale of 2018 and 2008, the last time we swept pro-environmental candidates into the White House, and both branches of Congress.
What has Friends of the Earth Action Done So Far?
That’s why our plan leaves nothing to chance, and nothing on the field. We’ve picked key races for House and Senate, which in turn can flip the outcome of the electoral college and popular vote margin for President. And we’ve set an ambitious goal of making nearly half a million voter contact calls and texts before the polls close. If we get this right, we’ll deliver the big change we need in 2020.
Friends of the Earth Action began this election cycle by building on our work in the 2018 election. In 2018, we contacted over 200,000 voters and propelled North Carolina Supreme Court candidate Anita Earls to victory.
In 2020, we picked up right where we left off in the primary season. We endorsed true progressive champions up and down the ballot — from newcomers Jamaal Bowman and Cori Bush to Squad members like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar. Check out our full slate of endorsed candidates at https://foeaction.org/candidate-endorsements/.
At Friends of the Earth Action, we don’t believe it’s enough to elect Democrats. We stand behind progressives who will advance policies like a Green New Deal that ends our dependence on fossil fuels, a plan to build back better from the pandemic, an end to polluter welfare, and Medicare for All.
That’s why we’re getting out the vote for Kara Eastman in the Nebraska 2nd District. Kara signed the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge, fought the Keystone XL oil pipeline, and backs climate action like a Green New Deal.
At the same time, we’re working to take back the Senate and make sure voters in key swing states vote against anti-environment extremists. We’re in a battle for the soul of America and the future of our planet. We need a new generation of leaders who will stand up to pipelines and polluters, and fight for our communities. Instead, North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis has voted with Trump more than 95% of the time, and backed the failed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. That’s why we’re working to kick Tillis out of his seat.
Each of these races is important on it’s own. But taken together, they’re also our best shot at winning by a margin even Trump can’t deny, and which gives us our best shot at control of the House and Senate as well.
North Carolina is one of the most contested states in the electoral college – and Tillis is one of Trump’s key enablers in Congress. Nebraska is one of only two states that awards electoral college votes by Congressional district – and the last time we swept Kara Eastman’s district was the 2008 wave election that elected Barack Obama President and delivered control of the House and Senate.
If we can win these three races, we can trigger a wave election that sweeps in a new generation of progressive climate activists at all levels of federal government.
Who are we up against?
As we work to get environmental voters to the polls, you can be sure Big Polluters will do everything they can to prop up our opposition. After all, they may have millions in profits at stake.
Kara Eastman’s opponent is Don Bacon. He has a 6% voting rating from League of Conservation Voters, 0% rating from both Human Rights Campaign and Planned Parenthood, and accepted 500 contributions totaling almost $1 million in PAC money — including contributions from Big Polluters and Big Ag.
Senator Thom Tillis has been bad for communities across North Carolina. He’s backed Duke Energy and the Atlantic Coast pipeline, instead of supporting local black and indigenous communities. And he’s voted with Trump 95% of the time, including opposing support for front line health care workers and struggling families during the pandemic.
This year’s election presents unprecedented challenges. The pandemic means millions more Americans will vote by mail than ever before. Meanwhile, volunteers can’t safely knock on doors and candidates can’t hold rallies.
That means “digital canvassing” is the key tactic we need to turn out voters this year. Digital canvassing involves calling and texting voters to make sure they have all the information they need to cast their ballots.
Calling and texting voters from home is one of the most effective ways to help our candidates win — and it’s never been easier. We have contact information for environmental voters in our key districts. A simple phone call or text to those voters to remind them what’s at stake can make a huge difference. One conversation can determine whether or not voters cast their ballots.
We make it easy to get out the vote. Friends of the Earth Action has already identified pro-environment voters, and our secure system is set up so that you never need to share your phone number with strangers. You can participate from your own home, anywhere in the country — all you need is access to a computer.
Sign up now to call or text voters and we’ll give you everything you need: from talking points about the candidates, to details about polling locations and what folks need to bring in order to vote. We’ll even do a virtual training with you before you start making calls, and we’ll be on hand to answer your questions.
Voter rules and info
Voting looks a little different this year because of the pandemic. When you sign up to call or text voters, we’ll make sure you’re equipped to answer all their questions about how to vote.
In Nebraska, every voter will receive a mail-in ballot request. This application to vote by mail needs to be filled out, signed, and returned to your local election office by October 23. In-person early voting is open until Nov 2 at county election offices. You can look up the address at https://www.votercheck.necvr.ne.gov/voterview.
In North Carolina, you have to request an application to vote by mail. You can request to vote by mail at https://votebymail.ncsbe.gov/. Your application needs to be filled out, signed, and returned to your local election office by October 27. Early, in-person voting runs October 15 until October 31 at locations across each county. You can look up the address at https://vt.ncsbe.gov/ossite/.
Sign up now to join the 2020 Get out the Vote Team with Friends of the Earth Action!
To sign up, simply visit https://action.foe.org/page/22256/subscribe/1?ea.tracking.id=Website. An organizer will reach out to you to match you to one of our phone banking and text banking shifts.
As members of our phone banking team, you will have one-on-one conversations with voters over the phone to help them cast their ballot for progressive values.
You’ll use HubDialer, our secure phone banking system, to reach out to environmental voters in our priority districts. It’s easy and fun — and you never have to give strangers your phone number. Each calling shift is about 2 hours, and includes a training if this is your first time using our system.
If you’re a bit unsure about the phone banking process, signing up for our new volunteer call team is a great place to start learning!
Here are some photos of what to expect when phone or text banking!
As members of our text banking team, you will reach voters on their cell phones to help them cast their ballot for progressive values.
You’ll use ThruText, our secure phone banking system, to reach out to environmental voters in our priority districts. It’s easy and fun — and you can do it all through your computer. You don’t even need a cell phone, and you never have to share your phone number. Each texting shift is about 2 hours, and includes a training if this is your first time using our system.
If you’re a bit unsure about the text banking process, signing up for our new volunteer texting team is a great place to start learning!
Volunteer leader program
Voting looks a little different this year because of the pandemic. And volunteers, as well as voters, may have questions about how to vote, where to request absentee ballots and more. Once you’ve been through a training with the phone or texting teams above, we’ll invite you to come back and help coach other volunteers. You’ll use slack and zendesk to talk to other volunteers and help them get connected and answer questions. You can also offer to help staff our voter information hotline, and help answer voicemails and questions from voters left outside of calling hours. Volunteer leaders will spend about 5 hours a week talking to voters and other volunteers, and you’ll need to attend at least one phone or text bank training first.