People Power! Your Questions Answered about Volunteering

by Dannelle D. Stevens
Election Integrity Study Group

We hope you are interested in volunteering for the Democrats! That IS how we win in the long run… People-power, your power is your activism, our power is our activism! Yet, you have to find the best way for you to contribute your energy, your time, and even your money!

Let’s look at some ways you can help.

campaign volunteer cell phone

How does phone banking work these days?  

With cell phones and fewer people using landlines anymore, phone banking has changed.  First of all, except in rare situations, you will call Democrats. In most cases your job is not to persuade the person you are calling, but rather to deliver important messages. Second, during the phone call, your job is to listen and, then, encourage the person to vote!  You will read from  a script.  Using VAN or another app on your computer or phone, you will be linked into a system whereby the number pops up after you have finished your call. Don’t expect all, or even 50% of people to answer.  Just record what happened on your response sheet.

Which candidates need the most help?  

People have a strong inclination to vote for incumbents, people who have held the office before. Those that need the most help are those running against incumbents.

What’s it like to knock on doors?  Canvassing  varies depending upon the initiative.  In most cases, you will be only talking to Democrats or strongly leaning Democrats. Don’t worry that you are going to face a strong adversary. Knock, step back from the door and  start the conversation with a big smile, even if you are wearing a mask. It often shows in your eyes! Second, follow the script you are given. 

Of course, with the pandemic continuing, you will have to decide whether to knock on doors or make phone calls. Election campaign experts say the “gold” standard for effective campaigning is knocking on doors.  It is the best thing you can do to get out the vote.

Is there work I can do in the office?

 At this time, Multnomah County Democrats are operating a virtual office, so there are no in-office opportunities.

How can I make sure Democrats win? 

Do something.
You can participate in a variety of ways:  phone banking, knocking on doors, distributing literature, delivering yard signs, and contributing to campaigns or MultDems. Even though we live in a purple state with some Democratic strongholds in Multnomah County, there is a lot you can do. Some campaigns have volunteers write postcards from selected lists of voters using a set script.  Other campaigns need you to address envelopes for flyers. Just ask the campaign directors, or watch the Election Hub for posted opportunities.

Tell your friends what you are doing.
We all have friends and relatives across the country.  Tell them about your activist work and your own voting practice. Announce it on  social media.. You don’t have to say whom you voted for but the fact that you are voting is VERY important! Behavior is contagious. You can be a role model for voting among your friends and family. When Democrats vote, Democrats win, just because, in general, there are more Democrats than Republicans in this country.  JF Kennedy won by one vote per precinct.  All votes count!

Vote all the way down the ballot.  Don’t stop at the top!
There are Democrats all down the ballot, even in non-partisan races.  Multnomah Dems have identified those folks in our ELECTION HUB.  Attend both virtual and in-person debates and forums (including those hosted by MultDems). If you want to assure a more progressive agenda in the sheriff’s office, for instance, find out from MultDems who are the Democrats running for this kind of non-partisan slot.  In some elections, Precinct Committee Persons distribute “slate cards” which are like a voter’s guide to the Democrats on your ballot.


Want to find other ways to get involved? Visit the “Join a Committee” page to learn about all kinds of opportunities relating to the causes you care about.