Top Five Myths About Phone Banking—Busted!

Text: "Get out the vote" with logos of Chicago NOW and Indivisible Chicago

It’s go time. So we’re grabbing our phones and making calls to get out the vote with our friends at Indivisible Chicago every week until November 3. Learn more about our partnership.

We can tell you from personal experience that phone banking is easy and fun. All you need is a phone and a computer or tablet to get started! Phone banking may sound scary—especially since some folks spread misinformation about the difficulty of phone banking in order to suppress the vote. That’s why we are proud to bust these phone banking myths and get you feeling confident and ready to make some calls to voters in pivotal swing states.

Myth 1: Phone banking is ONLY about persuasionas in, “I’ll have to convince someone with extreme views to change their mind on the phone.”

The goal of phone banking is not to find the people posting fake news memes on Facebook and convince them to flip their views in five minutes. Phone banking is about encouraging progressive voter engagement and turnout. It’s the candidates’ job to change hearts and minds—we’re just giving people the extra push they may need to cast their ballots.  

Myth 2: I’m too busy to phone bankwhen will I find the time?

Don’t worry—you can phone bank around your schedule, at your own pace! We’d love for you to join us when we call together, but once you’ve done one phone bank with Indivisible, you can make calls on your own anytime the phones are open ( 9:00 am – 8:00 pm, seven days a week). You can even split it up into smaller chunks. Take 15 minutes and make a dozen calls. Do that four times in a day (or over a few days), and you’ve logged your volunteer time for the week.

Myth 3: People are going to yell at me!

We know it might not seem like it these days, but, turns out, people? They’re generally good at heart! We’ve put in a lot of hours for different campaigns over the years, and we can say with confidence that someone actually taking the time and effort to yell at a stranger on the phone is extremely rare. If someone doesn’t want to talk, they’ll either hang up or won’t pick up the phone at all. Plus, Indivisible’s phone lists are already culled to maximize progressive voter turnout.

Myth 4: I don’t know what to say.

The campaigns that Indivisible partners with always provide clear and easy-to-follow scripts with lots of quick facts about the candidates. Sometimes candidates hop on at the beginning of the phone banks to say a few words about themselves! Most of the time, by the end of an hour or two, you won’t even need your script. But if you freeze up, all you do is look at the script in front of you. And as a bonus, Indivisible stays with you on Zoom to answer any questions you have during your shift.

Myth 5: Phone banking won’t really make a difference, right?

Wrong! Time and again, elections are decided by super slim margins. If we had just turned out a few thousand more voters in swing states in 2016, we’d be looking at a pretty different world right now. Political scientists who’ve studied decades of data have determined that a volunteer phone bank that reaches 1000 people will produce about 28 new voters. If we want to change the course of history, we need every single vote we can get. 

Never phone banked before or haven’t done it yet for 2020? Sign up for Indivisible’s Phone Banking 101, an awesome 45-minute training session that will get you fired up, confident and ready to call.

CNOW will be phone banking once a week until the November 3 election! Head over to our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages for more info. If you can’t make the CNOW phone banks, check out Indivisible Chicago’s website to sign up for phone banks that fit into your schedule!

Let’s GOTV and save democracy!

In solidarity,

Chicago NOW

Image of megaphone plus text "Get Out the Vote" with CNOW & Indivisible Chicago

Get Out The Vote With CNOW and Indivisible Chicago

Chicago NOW is thrilled to announce that we are partnering with Indivisible Chicago to Get Out The Vote (GOTV)!

Who is Indivisible Chicago?

Indivisible Chicago is a progressive, grassroots all-volunteer group of Chicago residents with chapters in neighborhoods all across the city. Throughout the past four years, Indivisible Chicago has led city-wide efforts to resist the regressive Trump agenda. Today, Chicago NOW unites with Indivisible Chicago to mobilize Chicago progressives to help get out the vote for the upcoming general election in swing states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, Arizona and Pennsylvania.

How can I help?

Indivisible’s campaign is three-pronged: 1) postcard writing, 2) phone banking and 3) text banking. Indivisible will provide you with all the tools you need to start your very own progressive campaign headquarters, right from your couch! Join CNOW for one part, two parts, or all three parts of Indivisible’s crucial voter outreach efforts.

Phase 1: Join the Postcard Posse!

Since early 2020, Indivisible has written millions of postcards to progressive voters in Arizona, Kansas, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Montana and Wisconsin. Now, we need your help to get postcards to voters in other swing states like Florida, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania to remind them to vote on November 3 and cast their ballots in one of the most pivotal general elections in recent history.

Writing postcards is an easy, free and effective way to increase voter turnout and get new voters to the polls. Plus, there’s no in-person contact required! Here’s how writing with the Postcard Posse works:

  1. Have the cards delivered to your front door or pick them up from a distribution hub.
  2. Follow the instructions that come with the cards—including what message to write.
  3. When you’re done writing, return the cards to your hub via pickup or drop-off.
  4. If you want to also make a monetary donation, buy stamps for your cards or donate online.

Join the CNOW Postcard Posse team and get started writing postcards within a matter of days! Host a virtual postcard party at your next friends or family Zoom hangout. Write some postcards. Have fun. Save democracy.

Phase 2: Phone Banking!

Whether you’ve worked so many campaigns that you have a favorite pair of canvassing shoes, or you’re a rookie desperate to advance progressive causes, CNOW and Indivisible Chicago will make sure you have the support to make an impact. If you’re new to phone banking, Indivisible offers “Phone Banking 101,” a 30-minute, virtual training session. After you’re all trained and fired up, ready to remind voters of their important civic duty, join a virtual phone bank gathering! Each gathering starts with an orientation, during which Indivisible provides you with crucial talking points, and it ends with a group debrief when the calls are done. Your phone bank leaders are always available online to solve problems and answer questions.

CNOW will be sponsoring a virtual phone bank gathering in the coming weeks, but if you’re ready to get started now, sign up here! Without canvassing, phone banking is the most important way we can connect with prospective voters and encourage them to send in their ballots. 

Phase 3: Text Banking!

If you’re like us here at CNOW, you’ve probably received text messages from all kinds of political campaigns and candidates in past election seasons, and wondered to yourself, “Is this a text from a human being, or is this just political Siri or Alexa?” Now, you can be the actual human being on the other end of the text! Just like phone banking, Indivisible has all the tools you need to hop online and start making direct contact with prospective voters in swing states through texting. 

As we get closer to the election, CNOW will begin to sponsor text banking events. If your fingers are just itching to text right now, click to get started.  

Let’s GOTV and save democracy together!

 In solidarity,

Chicago NOW