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Saturday, September 6, 2008

10 Things The Average Person Can Do to Help Elect McCain and Your Local Candidates

By NJ GOP, Inspired by Willie Lawson
 If the Democrats can do this, so can you.

1. Volunteer to distribute voter guides
2. Contact Campus Crusade for Christ
3. Leave voter registration forms
4. Write letters to the editor of your local paper
6. Email your local TV stations
7. Forward emails regarding the candidates
8. Help your local campaign office and volunteer
9. Reach working commuters
10. Wear a button or pin showing your support, and get a lawn sign

1. Volunteer to distribute voter guides.  The Christian Coalition is a great non-partisan organization that creates voter guides to help educate people on the candidates.  I have distributed voter guides in the past and it was very easy.  I simply dropped off voter guides at interested churches working from a list provided by the Christian Coalition of America .  If the church was closed I left my name and contact number along with the literature.  This wasn’t required but I felt it was the polite thing to do.  I received many phone calls thanking me for the guides, but also got one or two nasty messages.  Turns out the “nasty” calls were from churches that had changed pastors and the new guy/gal was a lib.  While it was sad that the guides probably went directly into the trash, I got a certain satisfaction out of yanking a lib’s chain. 

2. Contact Campus Crusade for Christ and offer to provide voter registration forms AND absentee ballot forms to them. If you live near a college you can offer to drop them off.  Campus Crusade of course is not allowed to endorse any particular candidate, but this is a great way to urge Christian students to vote.
3. Leave voter registration forms in places where people will pick them up.  Just today I left a stack at my local Christian bookstore, they were grateful I brought them.  Ask your friends and neighbors to put out in their church foyers, but don’t limit it to just churches.  Bowling alleys, the public library or the laundromat are great places too.  I just left some on the bulletin board at the small community center in our town on Friday morning and they were almost gone when I checked early this morning.

4. Write letters to the editor of your local paper. No guarantee your letter will be printed but it’s always worth it to force these people to read another point of view.

5. NAG, NAG, NAG. Email the young adults in your family who recently turned 18 and fill out the voter registration form for them, have them sign it, and YOU mail it for them (they are notorious for procrastination.)  Remember NAG, NAG, NAG; you can get away with that with family so go for it.

6. Email your local TV stations
when you find their reporting is biased and copy your friends.  The TV station won’t listen to you but your friends will be impressed.  (Or not.) J

7. Forward emails regarding the candidates to your “on the fence” friends (try not to over do it or they’ll stop listening to you).  I try to make sure that whatever I am forwarding is a) factual, b) somewhat unique, and c) fair.  It’s annoying getting the same email from 10 different people.  Many months ago I received an email showing Obama not pledging allegiance to the flag.  I refused to forward it because I was not convinced (at that time) that the image wasn’t taken out of context. 

8. Help your local campaign office and volunteer.  I have done this so many times and have always gained great satisfaction in the hands-on work of winning (sometimes losing) and election.  The phone calling is a little scary at first, but once you’ve made the first 10 calls the rest is cake.  I sincerely mean that.  I will limit myself to 1 hour of phone banking and I’ll set my watch to stop in exactly 60 minutes.  I rarely go longer because it can sometimes be draining and I don’t want to burn out.

9. Reach working commuters by handing out or leaving voter registration and absentee ballot applications at the bus station and train station where people commute.  Here in NJ the work day could easily go until after the polls are closed – absentee voting really helps especially since the laws have changed and the voter does not have to provide a “reason” for voting absentee anymore.

10. Wear a button or pin showing your support, and get a lawn sign.  If you take a car load of lawn signs to church on Sunday, people will empty your car in 5 minutes.  (This has happened to me over and over.)  If you worry your lawn sign will be stolen, try this tip:  wearing plastic disposable gloves, smear any available nasty substance on the edges of your sign.  I have always wanted to use a thin layer of dog poop, but since I don’t have a dog, I’ve considered other things a sign thief may not want on his or her hands or in his or her car.  If you have the style of lawn sign that consists of a plastic sleeve that resembles a sort of “pocket”, a dead fish inside would be an especially nice touch. 

I welcome any creative alternatives – so please post your ideas!