What should I write?
What works best
Heartfelt personal messages are best. Some people talk about voting as a way to express themselves, and how important it is to be heard. Others focus on welcoming their letter recipient into a community of voters. You could also describe memories from childhood of going to the polls with your parents, or doing the same with your kids.
Following research-proven GOTV best practices, the best messages:
- Foster the recipient's identity as a Voter (Note: research shows the words "voter" and "voting" resonate more than “vote”)
- Create a sense of urgency and excitement about voting
- Make voting seem easy and accessible
What to avoid
"Get out the vote" research has shown that partisan messaging is less effective than nonpartisan messaging. This is why we ask volunteers to avoid:
- Mentioning candidates by name
- Mentioning political parties
- Framing the message overall in a partisan fashion
- Assuming that the recipient agrees with you on issues or policy
It’s fine to mention specific issues, just be careful not to assume the recipient agrees with your policy preferences.
For examples and suggestions for keeping messages nonpartisan on letters to Virginia voters, please see this FAQ.