Make a plan to vote and then make a plan with your friends and family to vote. To help you make a plan and inspire you to get your vote to the polls, we’ve rounded up some resources for you. And, as a marketing agency, of course we want to lift up and highlight how brands are helping to turn out the vote. So first up are resources for our local Maine Voting community, then some fun facts about close races decided by only a handful of votes, and last but not least, some of our favorite ads and messages about voting. Let’s dive in.
IF YOU PLAN TO VOTE IN MAINE
Below are some quick reference facts about voting in Maine to help set you up for success.
- ALL BALLOTS MUST BE RECEIVED BY 8PM ON NOVEMBER 3RD TO COUNT! VOTE EARLY!
- You can vote early with your town clerk until October 30th (that’s THIS Friday!!), dates and hours vary by location. Contact your clerk by clicking this link for more details.
- You can register to vote and vote early all on the same day, which we recommend to ensure your successful ability to vote (would hate to get a flat tire on election day or run out of time to vote!). For more information on registering to vote check out the Maine Voter’s Guide
- If you’re unsure of who you want to vote for or what is going to appear on your ballot, you can check out the Maine Voter Information site where you can look up who the candidates are that you’ll be voting for locally, statewide, and at the federal level. Another helpful non-partisan resource is ballotpedia.com
- You can’t be turned away from your polling place. If you think you’re eligible to vote but a poll worker questions this, ask to cast a “challenged ballot.”
- Voter intimidation is illegal. See the following examples of voter intimidation from the ACLU of Maine:
- Examples of voter intimidation include any person or group of people aggressively questioning a voter about their qualifications to vote, such as their citizenship, any person or group of people spreading false information about voting requirements, such as the ability to speak English, and other harassment, particularly toward non-English speakers and people of color.If someone tries to pressure you into voting a certain way or not at all, report it to a polling official. They are well-trained and there to help. You may also report the incident to the ACLU of Maine’s Voter Protection Hotline (call or text the ACLU of Maine’s Voter Protection Hotline at 207-204-VOTE (8683) [TTY line: 207-204-8684]).
- Make sure your ballot get counted. Every election absentee ballots may be rejected if they are not signed, not signed properly, or breaks any of the protocols in the voting process. You can track your ballot to ensure it gets accepted and your voice is heard. Track your ballot here. Even if you vote in person it will tell you whether or not your ballot was accepted. Below are three examples, in the first example the voter went to their town office and voted early, second voter picked up their ballot and returned it in person a few days later, while the third voter requested their ballot by mail but have not returned it yet. If you track your ballot and you do not see it listed, contact your clerk/registrar.
- Below is a video from the Maine Secretary of State which oversees elections. This short video walks you through how to register to vote for the first time in Maine.
EVERY VOTE COUNTS
If you’re thinking, ‘ugh, I’m not even going to bother…’ then check out these close races to see how literally every vote counts. These barely scratch the surface, there are many more examples of close races in our nations history, especially as you examine local politics. Here were some of my favs.
- 1800 – Thomas Jefferson was elected president by one vote in the house of representatives after a tie in the electoral college
- 1839 – Massachusett’s Governor’s race was decided by just one vote
- 1962 – The Governors of Maine, Rhode Island, and North Dakota were elected by an average of one vote per precinct.
- 2000 – Over 6 million people went to the polls in Florida, and George W Bush became our president by difference of only 537 votes.
- 2014 – This one is near and dear to me as I worked on this campaign; with nearly 10,000 ballots cast in Pocatello, Idaho to decide whether or not to keep legal protections for transgender people in housing, work, and public accommodations, the people of Pocatello decided by only 80 votes to keep their non-discrimination law. This also speaks to the power of volunteering to turn out the vote. We had over 30 volunteers on election day, each turning out 10+ voters, if any one of those volunteers hadn’t shown up, Pocatello would have lost these critical non-discrimination protections.
So many brands are aware of the importance and power of voting. Check out some of our favorite GOTV (Get Out The Vote) ads from this year.
PATAGONIA: VOTE THE ASSHOLES OUT
Patagonia’s founder, Yvon Chouinard, is known around the globe as one of the original dirtbaggers, and I mean that in the most loving and awe inspiring ways. A “dirtbag” in climbing culture is someone who, in general, subsists on as few resources as possible in an effort to maximize time climbing or in the outdoors. Picture living in a car or backpacking full time. Yvon spent his youth climbing and backpacking, in the great outdoors and has now built a brand around protecting those wild places and our planet. In a blog post for 1% for the planet Chouinard said;
“Remember, vote the assholes out—all of those politicians who don’t believe we should do anything about climate change. Vote for the planet and against those who would do nothing. We have the power and now is the time to use it.” – Yvon Chouinard
SEVENTH GENERATION: VOTE FOR THE FUTURE
Seventh Generation is making a call out to all voters to vote for the planet on behalf of the generation that is too young to be able to vote. They ran ads surrounding the presidential debates and have been running a strong campaign and have a great resource for voters as well. Check out their Vote for the Future page to hear stories from young folks and how important this election is to them. They even have a spot where you can check to see if you are registered to vote.
Pernod Ricard USA is giving all its employees paid time off on election day to get to the polls, and the CEO (Ann Mukherjee) is urging other industry leaders to do the same. To encourage the American public to turn out to vote, Pernod Ricard is using their flagship premium vodka brand, Absolut, as a platform. With the call to action of ‘vote first, drink second,’ it’s a smart message whether your candidate wins or loses.
LEVIS: IT’S YOUR VOTE
Can’t think of anything more American than blue jeans and voting. Check out levi.com/itsyourvote to learn more about how this classic jeans brand is making a statement and helping to inspire people to get to the polls.
REDDIT: UP THE VOTE
Reddit is running a comprehensive out-of-home digital campaign hoping to inspire more people to turn out to vote. Ready to have your mind blown? Reddit received an average of 165 million votes PER DAY! Rewind back to 2016, and the US Presidential election only received 140.1 million votes. Check out more about Reddits UP the Vote.
What are some of your favorite GOTV ads you’ve seen this cycle? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And because having a plan to vote is so critically important, download and print out the below PDF to help you think through and visualize when you’ll be voting and then walk your friends through the process to make sure they have a solid plan to vote. These are also great for parents and teachers of first time voters to print out and share with young adults to get them into good voting habits early on.
At the end of the day, voting is the lifeblood of our democracy. In my previous work as a political field strategist working on both ballot campaigns and legislative campaigns, I can assure you, your vote and record of voting holds more power than just on election day. Every time you vote, you create a record of voting, a pattern of “being a good voter.” And those elected, whether you like them or not, pay attention to “good voters.” When you make calls, write letters, or work to lobby your elected officials, or request constituent meetings, if you have a strong record of voting, your voice has more weight. So not only are you deciding who is in power on election day, it will be the weapon you yield as you hold those we elect accountable in the future.
So make a plan, and VOTE.