- Action Steps: 5 to 4 Weeks From Election Day
- Action Steps: 2 Weeks from Election Day
- Support Materials
- Get Out The Vote Packet
Action Steps: 5 to 4 Weeks From Election Day
- Grand Knights and Faithful Navigators
- Grand Knights and Faithful Navigators appoint a local “Knights of Columbus Nonpartisan National Get Out the Vote Program” Council or Assembly Coordinator to serve as a point person on this program for their councils and assemblies.
- State Deputies
- Appoint a State Coordinator to support Grand Knights and Faithful Navigators in implementing the “Knights of Columbus Nonpartisan National Get Out the Vote Program.”
- Council and Assembly Coordinators
- Contact state and local voting officials to correctly identify and confirm active polling locations where voting will take place on Election Day in the general area of the council and assembly. Use this online resource as a start: www.nass.org/can-i-vote
- In areas where redistricting has recently occurred, provide maps to inform people of the location of their new polling place and give them sample ballots with candidates and referendum issues listed.
- Organize a “Rides to the Polls” program
- Make sure that your council and/or assembly is properly insured, including HIRED/NON-OWNED AUTO LIABILITY coverage to cover any potential claims against the council and/or assembly. For more information on a competitively priced insurance program especially designed for Knights of Columbus Councils and Assemblies by Lockton Affinity, go to http://councilinsuranceprogram.com/
- Call for volunteers who have suitable means of transportation to drive people to the polls.
- Schedule volunteer drivers throughout Election Day to accommodate those in need of transportation to the polls throughout the Election Day.
- Arrange volunteer schedules so that volunteer drivers can pick up as many participants as they can comfortably accommodate during each trip.
- Designate a “dispatch” member and location to coordinate drivers and check on cancellations and late requests for rides.
- Reach out to parishes and other community organizations to help identify people in need of transportation on Election Day.
- Obtain permission from pastors of local parishes to post sign-up sheets for those in need of transportation to the polls on Election Day.
- Obtain permission to post sign-up sheets throughout the local community (stores, churches, meeting halls, senior centers, etc.) offering a ride to the polls and providing phone numbers and/or e-mail addresses to contact to arrange a time.
- Volunteer drivers make specific arrangements with participants as to where they will meet participants.
Remember, is not permitted to deny rides to persons based on their preferences
(e.g., party, candidate, beliefs, etc.)
PROMOTE THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS
NONPARTISAN NATIONAL GET OUT THE VOTE PROGRAM!
- Add planning for the Knights of Columbus Nonpartisan National Get Out the Vote Program as an agenda item at October council/assembly meetings and promote participation in the program among council/assembly members.
- Conduct a public awareness campaign about the importance of every citizen exercising the right to vote.
- Help Knights, family members, parishioners and others who are sick, disabled, in a nursing home, in the military, away at college, or otherwise unable to vote in person on Election Day to apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot.
- Follow-up with mail-in voters to make sure they received their mail-in or absentee ballot and that they have completed the ballot and mailed it in a timely manner.
OBTAIN AND USE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS NONPARTISAN
NATIONAL GET OUT THE VOTE PROGRAM MATERIALS!
- Knights of Columbus “VOTE” posters
- Display posters throughout the local community in the weeks prior to local, state, and/or national elections to remind voters of their civic duty.
- The Grand Knight and Financial Secretary can order “Vote” or “Register to Vote” posters through Officers Online via “Supplies Online” link by using #10401 for the “Register to Vote” poster and #10402 for the “Vote” poster.
- A PDF of the “VOTE” poster is available here - use for reproduction and distribution.
- A PDF of the “VOTE” flyer is available here - use for reproduction and distribution.
- You may also order posters by email, telephone, and fax:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone Lines: 1-833-591-7770 Direct Phone Line: 1-443-541-8550 eFax Line: 1-833-744-8321 (Available M-F 8AM-6PM EST)
- Meet with the pastor to obtain permission to hang “VOTE” posters and official voting information flyers around the parish.
- Obtain permission to hang and otherwise distribute Knights of Columbus VOTE posters and official voting information flyers at soup kitchens, libraries, senior centers, community centers, convalescent homes, retirement centers, high schools, and other appropriate locations in the local community.
- Place the “VOTE” posters and official voting information flyers as ads in local community and diocesan newspapers.
- Create, reproduce, and distribute voting information flyers that include the official:
- date of the election [Tuesday, November 6, 2018] or, in early voting states, of the election period.
- sites of local polling places, including dates and locations of early voting places; for more information go to www.nass.org/can-i-vote
- ballot information on what offices, referenda, initiatives, and/or propositions are being voting on.
- information regarding voter qualifications (e.g., will voters need I.D. to vote?)
- information regarding voter registration.
- Obtain the pastor’s permission and approval to promote the Knights of Columbus Nonpartisan
National Get Out The Vote Program through:
- nonpartisan bulletin inserts, and
- nonpartisan pulpit talks that notify parishioners in need of assistance or transportation to get to the polls on Election Day to sign up with a representative from the Knights of Columbus.
- Ask state and local voting officials to:
- come and speak at public talks sponsored by the Knights of Columbus to educate the public on how to correctly use voting machines and to read the ballot, and
- display sample ballots and instructions on how to vote in the parish and local community, including in the council’s meeting place, the parish hall bulletin board, and any other spots accessible to the public.
- If a referendum is being held in your state affecting marriage or life, or some other important issue your state Catholic conference has taken a position on:
- as a Catholic parishioner and resident in your community, and NOT in the name of the Knights of Columbus, support your state Catholic conference’s position on the issue by sponsoring education forums or other educational events.
- as a Catholic parishioner and resident in your community, and NOT in the name of the Knights of Columbus, volunteer to distribute literature, make phone calls, and support other referendum efforts.
- as a Catholic parishioner and resident in your community, and NOT in the name of the Knights of Columbus, volunteer to be a poll watcher to record and report who has voted to your state Catholic conference or other supportive advocacy group headquarters
- as a Catholic parishioner and resident in your community, and NOT in the name of the Knights of Columbus, volunteer to make phone calls, emails or knock on doors to remind those who have not yet voted to do so.
Action Steps: 2 Weeks from Election Day
- MAKE APPROVED PULPIT ANNOUNCEMENTS AND ISSUE APPROVED BULLETIN INSERTS!
- Read pulpit announcements at all Masses for two weeks prior to Election Day, advising parishioners who are in need of assistance or transportation to Election Day polls to sign up with a representative from the Knights of Columbus or to take a bulletin for additional information.
- Bulletin inserts in available parish bulletins at all Masses for two weeks prior to Election Day, advising parishioners in need of assistance or transportation to Election Day polls to sign up with a representative from the Knights.
- HELP A BROTHER KNIGHT TO VOTE!
- Ask a brother Knight to come with you when you go to cast your ballot.
- Offer to pick up your voting companion and take him to the polls on the day of the election.
- Set a specific time to go, and encourage your brother Knight to bring along other eligible voters.
- Encourage first-time voters, elderly members, and Knights with busy schedules who might not otherwise vote to come with you when you cast your ballot.
- USE MEDIA TO GET OUT THE VOTE
- Put a NONPARTISAN “Vote!” reminder on your council or assembly website.
- Post on your council or assembly social media sites to remind all of your “friends” to vote.
IN STATES WITH EARLY VOTING
Today, many states and the District of Columbia allow “early voting” or “no excuse” absentee ballots or both. This year, voters in 30 states started casting their ballots before September even ended. Thus, about 35 percent of voters are expected to vote before Tuesday, November 6, 2018. This is still called Election Day, but for many it is simply the last day of an “Election Week” or “Election Month” or an even longer election period.
While about 65% of U.S. voters will still vote at a polling place on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, millions of others will vote before then, either at a polling place that's opened early, or by mail. In Oregon, all voting will be by mail, as is most voting in the state of Washington. (In Washington, the only polling places on Election Day are at county election offices.)
If your state has early voting, to assure that voters are aware of all of their early voting options, you can do the following:
- Publicize when and where early in-person voting will be held – remember to use www.nass.org/can-i-vote
- Publicize and provide Rides to the Polls throughout the early voting period for Knights in your council, their family members, parishioners and other voters who do not have transportation or who need assistance in getting to the polls.
- Contact Knights, parishioners and other registered voters by phone or e-mail to remind them that:
- the period for early voting in-person has begun and that rides to the polls are available
- the period for early voting by mail has begun and to complete their ballot and mail it in
- Create and distribute “Did You Vote Yet?” stickers or buttons to wear on the days and in the weeks when polling is open, similar to “I Voted” stickers given out at the polls on Election Day,
- If early predictions forecast bad weather for Tuesday, November 6, 2018, use phone calls or e-mail to encourage Election Day voters to use the early voting option to vote sooner.
GET OUT THE VOTE!
To help fellow Catholics and others get to the polls to exercise their right to vote, the Knights of Columbus has developed the parish-based Knights of Columbus Nonpartisan National Get Out the Vote Program. A series of uniquely designed support materials are provided here.
- Bulletin Announcement - This is an editable document, suitable for inclusion in your Parish Bulletin.
- Pulpit Announcement - This is an editable document that can be tailored to your Parish needs.
- Diocesan News Release - This is an editable document, suitable for use as a news release for your Diocesan publications.
- Vote flyer
Get Out The Vote Packet
Knights of Columbus Nonpartisan National Get Out the Vote Program support materials are provided here:
NONPARTISAN NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION PROGRAM
The key first step in helping fellow Catholics get to the polls and exercise their right to vote is to ensure that all eligible voters are registered to vote.
The Knights of Columbus has developed the parish-based Nonpartisan National Voter Registration Program, which provides valuable information councils/assemblies need to help Catholic citizens register to vote within their communities prior to Election Day. Program support materials may be found here.
Find voter registration information in your state here.
For webinar presentation on the Nonpartisan National Voter Registration Program, click Webinar Training