AN EDUCATION-FRIENDLY LEGISLATURE
Our children need you! The very best way to ensure adequate school funding and pro-public education legislation is to elect state leaders and legislators who support public schools. We have an opportunity to do just that in the primary and general elections this year.
Use the online tools and checklists below to identify and support candidates who support our public schools. Just a few minutes of your time could make a real difference.
FIRST STEP: MAKE SURE YOU'RE REGISTERED TO VOTE!
Deadline to register to vote in the Primary Election: July 10, 2023 • Deadline to register to vote in the General Election: October 10, 2023
Find voter registration and other information here and access online voter registration forms below:
Build local support
Develop your own informal team of friends and like-minded folks to assist pro-public schools candidates
- Connect with others in your community via Facebook, email, Twitter, text, etc.
- Call our office at 601.961.4551 to learn what we may know about similar efforts in your area
- Share your ideas on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram – let’s start a movement!
Prepare at the precinct level
- Get the voter rolls for your district and divide them by precinct among your team of volunteers
- Get correct phone numbers of likely voters in your district, then update your voter rolls so that you can make reminder calls on Election Day
- Recruit drivers to take voters to the polls on Election Day
Learn who’s running in your legislative districts
- Find candidates in the Secretary of State’s candidate qualifying list. Get help identifying your own House and Senate district numbers: Find Your Legislators or call our office for assistance: 601.961.4551
- Make note of which candidates are in contested races and those running unopposed
- Determine whether the elections in your legislative districts will be decided in the Primary Election or in the General Election (check candidate qualifying list)
- If all candidates in a race are from the same party, the race will be decided in the Primary Election
- If the race includes candidates from more than one party, the race will be decided in the General Election
MEET THE CANDIDATES
This could be the most important time you spend this year
Face-to-face meetings with candidates are the best means of communicating your own values to candidates, ensuring that you understand their true positions, and holding their feet to the fire during legislative sessions.
- Ask a group of friends to join you for the meeting
- Ask candidates if they will commit to meeting with your group occasionally during legislative sessions to discuss education issues
- Ask candidates if you can count on them to represent you, rather than political or legislative leadership
- Be sure to check incumbents’ votes! (See The Parents’ Campaign’s Legislative Voting Records)
- It is important to read the description of each bill to determine how a legislator’s vote aligns with your priorities and to discuss with legislators their reasons for casting a vote on a given issue
- Take advantage of this great opportunity to educate candidates about issues of concern to you and to establish strong relationships with those you hope to have representing you for the next four years
PICK YOUR CANDIDATE
Identify the candidates who agree with you on important education issues
- Check the candidates’ responses to our Candidate Q&A
- A “No Response” sometimes indicates a lack of interest on the part of a candidate, but it could be an oversight; if candidates in your district haven’t responded, contact them yourself and ask them to submit their responses ASAP
- Candidates can request official Candidate Q&A questionnaires by calling our office at 601.961.4551 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
STEP BY STEP TO VICTORY
Build your candidate’s name recognition
- Put a yard sign on your lawn or in front of your business; ask friends to do the same
- Make a campaign donation; share the donation link and ask friends to donate (Note: candidates must report publicly any donations of $200 or more)
- Place a bumper sticker on your car
- Send postcards to your friends and acquaintances asking for their support for your preferred candidate (include on postcards the appropriate election date and a reminder to VOTE)
- Host a Meet and Greet for a candidate you support (give friends and co-workers an opportunity to meet the candidate; provide voter registration forms)
- Host a candidate forum at which voters can ask questions about important issues (provide voter registration forms)
- Use social media to spread the word about pro-public education candidates (Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest)
- Make short videos of voters (including teachers!) voicing their support for your candidate (“I’m a teacher, and I’m voting for John Doe in Senate District 100”); post the videos on social media
- Text and email your friends about the candidates you support
- Write a letter to the editor in support of your preferred candidate
- Volunteer at a “Get Out the Vote” phone bank just before the election to encourage folks to go to the polls and support your candidate
- Volunteer on Election Day: be a poll watcher (training required), drive voters to the polls, hold candidate sign at a polling place
GET OUT THE VOTE!
Voters who will not be able to make it to the polls on Election Day may vote absentee by mail or in person. Note: voting absentee by mail is a lengthy and arduous process and requires planning ahead. Voting absentee in person must be done in your county Circuit Clerk’s office during normal business hours Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or on the two Saturdays prior to an election from 8 a.m. to noon.
- See step-by-step instructions and deadlines for voting absentee
- Contact your county Circuit Clerk’s office for assistance in voting absentee
Mobilize voters on Election Day (it’s all about turnout!)
While all components of a campaign are important, at the end of the day, the candidate who gets the most voters to the polls will win. A Get-Out-the-Vote (GOTV) effort, planned and organized in advance and executed well, can make all the difference on Election Day!
- Text and call voters in your district reminding them to vote for your candidate
- Have drivers in each precinct ready to take voters to the polls
- Have poll watchers check official voter rolls throughout Election Day to see who has voted, and have volunteers ready to make reminder calls to those who haven’t made it to the polls
- Offer a ride to the polls to those you call on Election Day
- Wave signs for your candidate in high-traffic areas of your community
- Post reminders on social media throughout the day, and include a phone number for voters to call to request a ride to the polls
2023 ELECTION DETAILS
Dates of 2023 primary and general elections
Tuesday, August 8
Tuesday, August 29
Tuesday, November 7
Tuesday, November 28
Registering, voting, and election guidelines
WANT MORE IDEAS?
Contact us for more creative ideas about how you can help elect education-friendly legislators in your districts! Email us at email@example.com or give us a call at 601.961.4551.