I need to print my letter templates. How does downloading work?
When volunteers log in to their Vote Forward accounts, they gain access to their dashboard. The dashboard is the screen that volunteers use to choose the number of voters they'd like "adopt" (or commit to sending letters), to print letter templates to prepare and mail, and to track their letter writing progress.
Note: We often receive emails from volunteers requesting a "list" of voters, but Vote Forward's website does not work this way. Instead, volunteers "adopt" a number of voters and then print batches of letters that have the names and addresses for these voters on the letters themselves.
The options for "adopting" voters to write to are batches of 5 or 20 voters. After volunteers click either the "Adopt 5 voters" or "Adopt 20 voters" button, they should see the word "Success!" appear on the button they clicked after a few moments. This indicates that the batch of voters they've "adopted" is now listed under the "Letters to Print and Prepare" heading on their dashboard. Volunteers may need to scroll down the page to see their all of their voters.
The next step is to print letter templates for these voters. Each letter template will have the name and address of one voter from the volunteer's "Letters to Print and Prepare" list on it.
There are two steps to printing letter templates for the voters listed under "Letters to Print and Prepare."
The first step is downloading the PDF. This is how the letters are transferred from the Vote Forward website to the volunteer's computer or other device to be printed. When a volunteer has voters listed under the "Letters to Print and Prepare" heading and clicks the blue "Download and print these letters" button near that heading, this generates a PDF with one letter for every voter and a Voter List checklist with instructions and the mail date. PDF is short for "portable document format," and it's a file format that captures text and images and is easy to share and print no matter what type of computer or device the volunteer is using. PDFs can be viewed and printed using Adobe Reader, which is free to use and install, or other programs already installed on the volunteer's computer or device that can be used to open, read, and print a PDF file.
After a volunteer clicks the blue "Download and print these letters" button on the dashboard, Vote Forward's website creates a PDF with one letter for every voter and a Voter List checklist with instructions and the mail date. This file may appear at the bottom of the screen, in the Downloads folder, or on the volunteer's desktop. If volunteers have downloaded files from websites in the past, this PDF should be in the same place those files were located. The file name will start with the date the PDF was downloaded, with the year first. For example, a PDF with a batch of 20 voters downloaded on Oct. 16, 2021 would be called: 2021-10-16-votefwd-letters-batch-of-20.pdf.
The second step is printing the PDF. After locating the PDF, the volunteer should open it, and then print this file as they would any other file or document. Volunteers without easy access to a printer can consider these options for printing their letters.
With letters printed, volunteers prepare them according to the instructions. And before "adopting" more voters, volunteers should visit their dashboard to mark their letters "prepared." This moves the voters with prepared letters from the "Letters to Print and Prepare" list to the "Letters You've Prepared" list so they know which letters are ready to mail on the mail date for that campaign. Here's how to do this, and it's important because letters for voters left in the "Letters to Print and Prepare" list will print again if they are not moved to the "Letters You've Prepared" list before the volunteer "adopts" more voters and downloads and prints their letters.