09/15/2014 07:09 pm ET Updated Nov 15, 2014

Election Day Countdown -- Get Out the Vote Boot Camp Checklist


In just 50 days we the people will go to the polls to (un)elect our leaders and shape the fate of our economy, ecology, and equality -- indeed all the causes of our lives.

As we get ready for Election Day, my favorite American holiday that isn't actually (but should be) a holiday, here again is my (updated) annual Get Out The Vote Boot Camp Checklist from Campaign Boot Camp 2.0 to peruse before you flex your political muscles.


1. Does your campaign reflect the vision, ideas, and values of your call to service?
2. Are you fulfilling your campaign promises?
3. Did you personally commit the necessary time, energy, and resources to the effort?
4. If not, what can you change in the final days?
5. How is family life? Kids and/or spouses still fired up and ready to share you for the next 50 days and beyond?


6. Is your message getting out there? Does the public know you and want to vote for you?
7. Are you campaigning in English or in all the languages spoken in your community?
8. How have allies and attacks affected people's perceptions of you and/or the campaign?
9. Do you have an open feedback loop to accept changes in perceptions from volunteers and focus groups in English and the other languages your constituents speak?


10. Has the campaign visited every neighborhood and promoted every constituency or taken anyone for granted? Be honest -- and fix it now because otherwise you'll be hearing "if you don't respect us, don't expect us!"
11. Did you build diverse coalitions with homegrown leadership and can you engage networks of support?
12. What is your win number? Do you have the demographic and voter data to help your team reach that goal?


13. Do you have the people in place to succeed?
14. Did you hire people who work well together? Anyone to add or excuse?
15. How has your kitchen cabinet handled surprises and setbacks? Are you calling your mentors for advice?
16. Are your house meeting hosts having events and building the volunteer corps?
17. Did the finance council raise money needed to implement the campaign plan?
18. Where are your votes? Is the election protection team in place ensure that everyone who can vote knows the rules and that every vote in counted and counted as cast?


19. Did people come through giving you what they pledged in dollars and in-kind donations?
20. Did you ask enough people for in-kind goods and services in the next 50 days?
21. Is your bookkeeping up to date and transparent?
22. Where will you add more fund-raising -- house meetings, call time, and surrogate advocacy?
23. What is your adjusted plan -- according to what is real, not what you hoped to raise?


24. People give 10 minutes a week to think about politics -- are they thinking about voting for you yet?
25. What is your multicultural presence? Are you using Spanish/AAPI/Urban radio? TV? Digital? Mail? Billboards?
26. What is your online presence? Twitter/Facebook/Instragram/Snapchat/etc.?
27. Who have been your best allies and ambassadors and will you deploy them for GOTV?


28. Have you recruited a volunteer corps to your cause who will talk to strangers, walk precincts in the rain, and sleep on floors or open their homes?
29. Where can you conduct more house meetings and tap into more networks to recruit volunteers?
30. How will you protect the vote? Who are your military/overseas/absentee/student/hot spot GOTV captains? Are your legal eagles in place in multiple languages?

Your goal is to wake up the day after the election with no regrets. So rather than asking "what if?" 51 days from now, candidates, ask these 30 questions today. And if you are a potential volunteer and like a campaign's answers or can help fix them, please engage -- democracy needs you.