Reading time: 12 minutes

Best Phone scripts for Political GOTV Campaigns (Strategy!)

By:
Published: Jul 23, 2022

Is a Get Out The Vote script necessary?

Convincing a voter to support your political party or cause is not an easy job. Imagine doing that over the phone!

It gets far more complex. No matter how skilled you may be in the art of persuasion, convincing someone to do something over the phone takes a level of skill that typically takes training and/or lots of practice.

However, there are some things that can be done to make it simpler to maintain their audience and have a meaningful conversation ( and hopefully garner their support ).

For instance, one study has shown that the type of script being used influences the level of responsiveness of the people being called. The following is a closer look at the ways in which the chosen script can help or hurt results.

phonebanking scripts for gotv

Types of Get Out The Vote scripts

For those who are yet unfamiliar, you have several options to choose from when trying to find a script to garner support for yourself or some other political leader; the three most common types of scripts used are:

Standard Script or Linear Script

A standard script is one that has the agent engage in a conversational back-and-forth with the voter only once during the call.

[su_lightbox type=”inline” src=”#standard-script”][pivot_button text=”Sample Standard Script”] [/su_lightbox]

[su_lightbox_content id=”#standard-script” style=”text-align:left”]

Standard Script or Linear Script

Hello, may I speak with ________________.
This is _______________ calling on behalf of Vote Carolina 2018. We are not concerned if you’re a Democrat or a Republican. We want to make sure that every registered voter goes to the polls and votes. A lot of people think that this election is one of the most important in years. Issues such as National Security, Taxes, and Healthcare will all be affected by this election, and we want every voter in North Carolina to stand up and be counted.

Can we expect you to get to the polls and vote [sometime between now and] Tuesday, November 6th?

YES
Great! Thanks for your time. Goodbye.

UNDECIDED/NO
Well, we want to remind you that this is a very important election — there’s a lot at stake. Thanks for your time. Goodbye.
[/su_lightbox_content]

Interactive Script or Branching Script

An interactive script is one that engages more than twice conversationally with the voter.

[su_lightbox type=”inline” src=”#interactive-script”][pivot_button text=”Sample Interactive Script”] [/su_lightbox]

[su_lightbox_content id=”#interactive-script” style=”text-align:left”]

Interactive Script or Branching Script


Hello, may I speak with ________________.
This is _______________ calling on behalf of Vote Carolina 2018.
We are not concerned if you’re a Democrat or a Republican. What we want to do is make sure that every registered voter goes to the polls and votes. A lot of people think that this election is one of the most significant in years. Issues such as National Security, Taxes, and Healthcare will all be affected by this election, and we want every voter in North Carolina to stand up and be counted.

Do you plan to go to the polls and vote on Tuesday, November 2nd?

YES
That’s Great! Do you need information about where your polling place is
and what hours it’s open? [If yes to polling place, say:] No problem, we
can easily look that up for you and get back to you with the information.

UNDECIDED/NO
Well, we want to remind you that this is a very important election – there’s a lot at stake – and you can voice your opinion by going to the polls and voting. In case you decide to vote, would you like information
about where your polling place is? [If yes to polling place, say:] No problem, we can easily look that up for you and get back to you with the information.
Thanks for your time and think about how great you’ll feel casting your vote, making your voice heard, and being part of this historic election.
Goodbye.
[/su_lightbox_content]

Branching Script with a Call to Action

An interactive script with a Call to Action is an interactive script that also has an ask included, for e.g., request for mobilizing neighbors.

[su_lightbox type=”inline” src=”#interactive-cta-script”][pivot_button text=”Sample Interactive Script with CTA”] [/su_lightbox]
[su_lightbox_content id=”#interactive-cta-script” style=”text-align:left”]

Branching Script with an Ask

Hello, may I speak with ________________.
This is _______________ calling on behalf of Vote Carolina 2018. We are not concerned if you’re a Democrat or a Republican. What we want to do is make sure that every registered voter goes to the polls and votes. A lot of people think that this election is one of the most significant in years. Issues such as National Security, Taxes, and Healthcare will all be affected by this election, and we want every voter in North Carolina to stand up and be counted.

Do you plan to go to the polls and vote on Tuesday, November 6th?

YES
That’s Great! Do you need information about where your polling place is and what hours it’s open? [If yes to polling place, say:] No problem, we can easily look that up for you and get back to you with the information. We also know that people who otherwise might not vote could be persuaded to vote by their neighbors. Can you think of one or two people in your building or on your block that you could encourage to vote? [pause to let them think about it] It could really make a difference. Can we count on you to pick at least one of these neighbors and do what you can to get them to vote?

YES – Terrific. Thanks again for your time, and don’t forget to convince your neighbors to vote! Goodbye.

NO – Well, if you do, it could really make a difference to try to get them out to vote. Thank you for your time. Goodbye.

UNDECIDED/NO
Well, we want to remind you that this is a very important election – there’s a lot at stake – and you can voice your opinion by going to the polls and voting. In case you decide to vote, would you like information about where your polling place is? [If yes to polling place, say:] No
[/su_lightbox_content]

Simply put, interactive scripts are scripts that guide the volunteer to interact with the voter they’re calling rather than simply calling them and reading them a campaign speech. While a standard script is something you read without taking breaks to get a response from the person you are calling, an interactive script leaves many opportunities for you to allow the person to respond and share their thoughts while you are reading the script.

While each type of script certainly has its place, standard and interactive with the call-to-action have been deemed the most inferior of the trio. This is largely due to the fact that standard scripts are often too generic to elicit the emotional response necessary to compel one to commit to performing a particular action once the call has ended.

On the flip side, interactive scripts with a call-to-action may actually be asking too much, which brings us right back to square one with regards to convincing someone to get out and vote.

We find that people assigned to the interactive GOTV treatment are more likely to turn out, while the effect of the “get your neighbors to vote” script is relatively as weak as that of the standard script. – Get-Out-the-Vote Phone Calls: Does Quality Matter? 

Insights on the perfect Get Out The Vote script

By using a simple interactive script, those who participated in the aforementioned study were able to yield a result that was almost 2% higher than the other two methods, with turnouts rates at 63.7% for the interactive scripts as opposed to 62.8% for the other scripts.

This is due to the fact that interactive scripts give the air of being personable, with a human tone, and easy to follow pace since the responses are based on each person’s unique responses to the interactive script. And rather than requesting something off-putting, such as having them talk to their neighbors, it simply ends the call by requesting that the person stays true to their responses and goes out and votes for the person they deem most qualified.

How to write an Interactive Political Phone banking Script

Overall, this confirms the importance of the quality of phone calls made for GOTV. An interactive, conversational, interactive script is the best way to not only peak interest but also convince the person to comply with your requests.

This doesn’t mean that content of the message does not play a role. It can still be a critical element to boost voter turnout when it is designed to be focused and appeal to the recipients’ hearts and minds (e.g., ethnic or racial appeals to low-propensity minority voters).

Enjoying my work? Share this article!