Election Toolkit

AN EDUCATION-FRIENDLY LEGISLATURE

Our children need you! Use the online tools and checklists below to identify and support candidates who support our public schools. Just a few minutes of your time could make a real difference.

FIRST STEP: MAKE SURE YOU'RE REGISTERED TO VOTE!

WHO'S RUNNING?

Learn who’s running in your legislative districts…

  • Find candidates by House or Senate district number or find candidates by name in the Candidate Q&A section of our website. Get help identifying your House and Senate district numbers: Find Your Legislators, or call our office for assistance: 601.961.4551
  • Make note of which candidates are in contested races, many of which will be decided in the Primary Election on August 6
  • Determine whether the elections in your legislative districts will be decided in the August 6 Primary or in the November 5 General Election (See the Secretary of State’s Qualifying List)
    • If all candidates in a race are from the same party, the race will be decided in the Primary Election
    • If the race includes candidates from more than one party, the race will be decided in the General Election

MEET THE CANDIDATES

This could be the most important time you spend this year…

Face-to-face meetings with candidates are the best means of communicating your own values to candidates, ensuring that you understand their true positions, and holding their feet to the fire during legislative sessions.

  • Ask a group of friends to join you for the meeting
  • Ask candidates if they will commit to meeting with your group occasionally during legislative sessions to discuss education issues
  • Ask candidates if you can count on them to represent you, rather than political or legislative leadership
  • Be sure to check incumbents’ votes! (Voting records are linked on the Candidate Q&A pages)
    • Legislators’ voting record percents are based on the number of times the lawmaker voted in agreement with The Parents’ Campaign’s position on our priority legislation. It is important to read the description of each bill to determine how a legislator’s vote aligns with your priorities and to discuss with legislators their reasons for casting a vote on a given issue.
  • Take advantage of this great opportunity to educate candidates about issues of concern to you and to establish strong relationships with those you hope to have representing you for the next four years.

PICK YOUR CANDIDATE

Identify the candidates who agree with you on important education issues…

  • Check the candidates’ responses to The Parents’ Campaign’s Candidate Q&A
  • A “No Response” sometimes indicates a lack of interest on the part of a candidate, but it could be an oversight; if candidates in your district haven’t responded, contact them yourself and ask them to submit their responses ASAP
  • Download the Candidate Q&A questionnaire or find the online submission form here
  • Candidates can request official Candidate Q&A questionnaires by calling our office at 601.961.4551

STEP BY STEP TO VICTORY

Build your candidate’s name recognition…     

  • Put a yard sign on your lawn or in front of your business; ask friends to do the same
  • Make a campaign donation; share the donation link and ask friends to donate
  • Place a bumper sticker on your car
  • Send postcards to your friends and acquaintances asking for their support for your preferred candidate (include on postcards the date of the Primary, August 6, or General Election, November 5, and a reminder to VOTE)
  • Host a Meet and Greet for a candidate you support (give friends and co-workers an opportunity to meet the candidate; provide voter registration forms)
  • Host a candidate forum at which voters can ask questions about important issues (provide voter registration forms)
  • Use social media to spread the word about pro-public education candidates (Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest)
  • Make short videos of voters (including teachers!) voicing their support for your candidate (“I’m a teacher, and I’m voting for John Doe in Senate District 100”); post the videos on social media
  • Text and email your friends about the candidates you support
  • Write a letter to the editor in support of your preferred candidate (get email addresses of local and statewide newspapers)
  • Volunteer at a “Get Out the Vote” phone bank just before the election to encourage folks to go to the polls and support your candidate
  • Volunteer on Election Day: drive voters to the polls, hold candidate sign at a polling place

Build local support…

Develop your own informal team of friends and like-minded folks to assist a pro-public schools candidate

  • Connect with others in your community via Facebook, email, Twitter, text, etc.
  • Call our office at 601.961.4551 to learn what we may know about similar efforts in your area
  • Share your ideas on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram – let’s start a movement!

Get organized by precinct

  • Get the voter rolls for your district and divide them by precinct among your team of volunteers
  • Update voter rolls, get correct phone numbers of likely voters in your district
  • Recruit drivers to take voters to the polls on Election Day

GET OUT THE VOTE!

Mobilize voters on Election Day (it’s all about turnout!)…

While all components of a campaign are important, at the end of the day, the candidate who gets the most voters to the polls will win. A Get-Out-the-Vote (GOTV) effort, planned and organized in advance and executed well, can make all the difference on Election Day!

  • Text and call voters in your district reminding them to vote for your candidate
  • Have drivers in each precinct ready to take voters to the polls
  • Have poll watchers check official voter rolls throuhgout Election Day to see who has voted, and have volunteers ready to make reminder calls to those who haven’t made it to the polls
  • Offer a ride to the polls to those you call on Election Day – be sure to get a correct address!
  • Wave signs for your candidate in high-traffic areas of your community
  • Post reminders on social media throughout the day, and include a phone number for voters to call to request a ride to the polls

ALL THE DETAILS ABOUT ELECTION

Get the when, where, and how…

Click here to find:

  • Dates of primary and general elections
  • Voter registration deadlines, forms, and information
  • Absentee voting deadlines, forms, and information

WANT MORE IDEAS?

Contact us at The Parents’ Campaign for more creative ideas about how you can help elect education-friendly legislators in your districts! Email us at info@msparentscampaign.org or give us a call at 601.961.4551.

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