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Shorter election season – Volunteer now!

A shorter election season means we need to donate & volunteer for candidates now!

In the Vermont Primary, voters returned their mail-in ballots quickly!

  • 10% were returned within 2 days of the voter receiving the ballot
  • 25% were returned within 5 days of the voter receiving the ballot
  • 50% were returned within 12 days of the voter receiving the ballot
  • 75% were returned within 20 days of the voter receiving the ballot

Everyone in Vermont will automatically receive a mail-in ballot for the general election. And these mail-in ballots will be sent out in mid-September. So we need to be campaigning hard in September and October!

Tell your friends and family

Share this post with 10 of your friends and/or family members in Rutland County to make sure they got it. 

Share on social media

Are you on social media? Be sure to follow the candidates and the Rutland County Democrats:

  • Facebook https://www.facebook.com/rutlanddems/
  • Twitter @RutlandDemocrat
  • Instagram rutlanddemocrats
  • SnapChat – The Rutland County Democrats are also on SnapChat but they can’t figure out how to use it effectively. So if you or someone you know can help, send them our way.

Like and share posts. Write your own posts and tag the candidates and/or the Democrats and we’ll boost them!

Donate

Links to the candidates can be found at
http://rutland-democrats.org/candidate-resources/

Volunteer

Be on the lookout for details about doing a literature drop. We would be leaving literature at people’s doors, not knocking on the doors or having a conversation. We would be wearing masks and practicing social distancing. If we do this, we will be trying to hit the entire county by October 10th. So we need a lot of volunteers!

Write postcards, make phone calls, and/or put out lawn signs for your favorite Rutland County candidate. Or join a Rutland County candidate in holding signs and waving at passersby! (While wearing a mask and practicing social distancing, of course.) This is a great way to boost visibility and name recognition for your candidate.

For Rutland County candidates, see the list of Events in our calendar or contact the candidates directly through the contact information listed here:
http://rutland-democrats.org/candidate-resources/

Phonebanking with the Vermont Democratic Party has already begun! Right now, they’re focusing on initial outreach to voters about the issues that matter to them. There will be more opportunities to phonebank for state-wide candidates in the future. To find an event, go here:
https://www.vtdemocrats.org/events

Letters to the editor

Write an op ed or a letter to the editor supporting your favorite candidate. Or share your reasons for not voting for their opponent – help inform the public! (for an example, see https://www.rutlandherald.com/opinion/letters/nix-peterson/article_dc483eba-6020-5131-bb33-8c5c1a230a05.html)

  • Rutland Herald – https://www.rutlandherald.com/site/forms/letters
    • They’re now charging for letters to the editor in support of a candidate, and the letter is treated like an advertisement, and printed randomly throughout the paper rather than with the letters to the editor. Depending on length, the cost varies between $15 – $75. But we think that they’re still treating criticism of a candidate as a regular letter to the editor – printing it with the letters and not charging.
    • But it appears that the Rutland Herald is still treating letters that question a candidate’s qualifications as a regular letter to the editor. It looks like they’re being printed with the letters and I don’t believe that they’re charging.
  • Mountain Times https://www.mountaintimes.info/contact-us/
  • The Lakes Region Free Press  https://manchesternewspapers.com/contact-us/

Let us know if you need tips on what to write or want someone to proofread your letter. And if you’re not comfortable writing the letter yourself, but would be happy to put your name on a letter that someone else writes if the content strikes your fancy, we can help with that too!

The below tips for writing letters to the editor were derived from https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resource/write-letters-editor-really-get-attention/

WHY WRITE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

  • Newspaper editors see your letter, and editorial boards are important local institutions. They interview and endorse candidates during campaign season, and their opinions carry a lot of weight.
  • Seniors see your letter. Seniors are seen as one of the big audiences for letters to the editor. They also vote in big numbers, something Legislators are also very aware of.

WHAT IF YOU’RE NOT COMFORTABLE WRITING?

Ask party leadership if they have letters that have already been written that you can submit under your name. Many election committees have volunteers churning these letters out. They will probably have a letter that really speaks to you and seems perfect for submission under your name.

HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR LETTER

  1. Find your local newspaper’s Letters to the Editor submission email on their website.
  2. Check the newspaper’s word limit, sometimes as low as 150-200 words.
  3. Focus on 1 topic. If you have 2 points or your letter gets long, write a second letter. Be clear and concise.
  4. Be yourself. You don’t need to talk like an academic or a policy expert. Remember, you’re a passionate constituent who other constituents might identify with—and that’s the most powerful thing you can be.
  5. Include a couple of points, a statistic and a personal note.
  6. Submit to smaller local papers, not just the nearest big city paper. You’ll have a better chance of getting published. And, it maximizes that feeling that the whole district is paying attention!
  7. Many newspapers require a phone number. It won’t be published. This is just to verify your identity.

GET ATTENTION

1. QUESTION A BAD CANDIDATE’S “BRAND.” Pull from the “Biography” page of the candidate’s website.

  • “Congresswoman Sara prides herself on being an independent voice that’s above the fray in Washington. But so far this year, she’s been a rubber stamp across the board…”  
  • “Congresswoman Sara ran for office as a fiscally-responsible conservative. That’s why it’s ironic that she’s considering voting for this bill, which  ___.”

2. KNOW THEIR RECORD. Research a candidate’s record on their website, in the news or in the legislature.

  • “Congresswoman Sara said that she would only vote for a bill that ___. Her record shows the opposite.”

3. CALL A BAD CANDIDATE OUT-OF-TOUCH WITH THE DISTRICT.

  • “Does Congresswoman Sara think that (residents) are all ____?  What she doesn’t seem to realize is that we are also __.  Her decision to ____ was extremely out-of-touch.”

4. SHOW THEM YOU HAVE A LONG MEMORY. Talk about an issue that’s not in the headlines.

  • “This Fourth of July, I am still shocked remembering Congresswoman Sara’s un-American comments on the Muslim ban, and I’m disappointed she has never apologized.”

5. PUT YOUR LETTER IN LOCAL TERMS… AND PUT A CANDIDATE ON THE SPOT.  

  • “My family has always gone to ____ Hospital. I’m really concerned about what would happen to it under the new bill Congresswoman Sara is considering.”
  • “With this spring’s flooding, (Town) is already feeling the effects of extreme weather. It’s amazing that Congresswoman Sara still raises any doubts about the science behind climate change.”

6. DEFY STEREOTYPES. Papers receive many letters from strong liberals/conservatives. Show you’re different.

  • “While I may not always agree with Congresswoman Sara, I have always admired her commitment to making herself accessible to constituents all around the district. That’s why I’m so disappointed that___.”
  • “I’ve supported candidates from both parties in the past. But Congresswoman Sara has really lost my respect with her steady shift towards ___.”

WHAT IF YOUR LETTER ISN’T PRINTED?

Don’t sweat it! It’s not personal. Newspapers get hundreds of submissions. They may print your next letter.

Your letter may help boost the signal on others’ letters even if it wasn’t published. When editors see a lot of letters coming in on a particular topic, they are more likely to print at least one on the topic.

You should still post the content of your letter on social media, tagging candidates you’re boosting. And email the content to RutlandCountyDemocratsVT@gmail.com to share on the Rutland County Democrats Facebook page.

Ultimately, letters to the editor are a long game. Keep trying. Your voice makes a difference.