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Working as GOTV Coordinator

Getting Out The Vote Reports

as reported in the OFFICER REPORTS for Annual General Meeting 2017 of the Democrats Abroad Germany (which never seems to have made it online)

GOTV Coordinator Alan Benson

2015 was not an election year, so not much needed to be done at first. Christine Moritz, the DAG Chair at the time, requested that I first of all take stock of what GOTV materials all the chapters had. We reordered some tried and true materials then such as the skyline post cards and Vote from Abroad business cards. The cards were then delivered to Quaide Williams and distributed at the 2016 AGM meeting in Schladern.
At that meeting, I held a talk about GOTV outreach strategies. In addition to providing material and advice to the various groups, I saw my primary task of finding mass media to contact Americans across Germany. Finding mass media covering all of Germany wasn’t easy. “The Local” an international online news magazine, which you can book by country, looked interesting at first. It would cost 500 euro to book the minimum of 50 thousand reader contacts. Although that was bargain, there were no funds available at the time. This lack of funds remained a problem. Money was earmarked for various other things such as the DA international convention and other merchandising materials.
Money, once available, was eventually invested in various installments in Facebook and YouTube (see below) where there was no minimum for what you invest. Although the cost per contact was several times of The Local, targeting could be quite precise (Americans in Germany).
Phone banking was another medium. A new and professionally developed phone banking program was set up by DA International with calls being routed through Washington D.C. (see below) Setting up a different system wasn’t necessary, however Quaide Williams did quite a bit of extra organizing. I did my share and also provided assistance, called and e-mailed new phone bankers, and so on. When doing calls, I discovered that over 90 percent had requested their ballots or then later had received and even returned their ballots. Here and there some questions surfaced and assistance provided. We assume that our members appreciate that we are keeping in touch with them in this way.
One way to reach out to members without telephone numbers was to send a postal mailing with questionnaire. I assembled a team in Berlin to carry this out. Out of the thousand letters that were sent, 16 were returned to Shari Temple with telephone numbers and over three hundred were returned as undeliverable. One of the purposes of phone banking is also to update the membership lists.
A further outreach was an e-mailing campaign to German universities with international programs and international or bilingual schools. They were organized according to chapters and included the respective chapters in the mailing. The mailing included a flyer to be hung up on a bulletin board for example and text for a forwarding mailing. I got feedback as requested from about half the schools. Many didn’t do anything, some posted the flyers and some forwarded the e-mail. Contact with the local US consulate was also mentioned. Further examples of my own local GOTV work in Berlin along with pictures are and will be posted on my own website at

Reports on GOTV by various other coordinators and chapters

Julia Bryan, International Secretary:
In total we made 126,188 calls. If you'd like to drill down by the country level, you can also run filters on your own members to see who was phone banked. In terms of callers, DE had 113 people sign up to make calls. Quaide Williams, Chair Germany, says we managed to call (almost) all 7,000 of our members who have telephone numbers listed in our database (i.e. minus those without numbers equals about 6000).

Hilary Bown, Vice Chair:
We spent 1700 euros on Facebook advertising -- 3 cycles with something like 7 different iterations of our ad messages.
FB stats show 1691 clicks through to VFA, a result of $1.01 per click. The ads were shown to 33,975 people, with 387,917 impressions.
A secondary effect is that we experienced extreme growth on our FB page. At the beginning of June (and until we ran our first ad campaign), DAG's page had around 600 fans. That grew over the course of four months to 1031 today. It coincides 100% to the ads we ran. Approximately every fourth VFA click became a new FB fan.

Owen Jappen, Fundraising and Events Coordinator:
YouTube ad info – We ran a ~20euro campaign from Sept 5-8 and reached 1612 humans, of which 475 clicked and proceeded to go through the FWAB application. These numbers are reported from YouTube itself and the way it redirects makes it difficult to identify on the Google Analytics side to confirm. YouTube allows you to target users based on browser language, age, country of viewing, channels subscribed to, watched video themes (i.e. Politics, American Sports), as well as specific videos (i.e. the Dec. 2nd episode of the daily show posted by Comedy Central). There is also the possibility to have the video appear as an ad on external websites (i.e. Politico, CNN, etc). The downside is, since YouTube profiles aren't mandatory and don't contain extensive personal info, it cannot pinpoint "people that used to live in/were born in America", or other "settings" that definitively prove nationality. The level of uncertainty notwithstanding, the results are fairly positive for cost effectiveness.

Eeva Moore, Berlin:
We launched the Kiez Captain program, which drew considerably more registrants than active members. However, based on the increased capacity from motivated participants, we were able to host GOTV registration booths in a series of new-to-DA-Berlin locations, as well as distribute VFA cards across a more expansive map of Berlin, including: Wedding, Prenzlauer Berg, Schöneberg and Kreuzberg, areas with a disproportionately large number of American residents.
Other GOTV event highlights include:
- Voter registration booth at the Sunday flea market at Mauer Park, one of the most heavy foot-traffic areas of the city, where volunteers spoke with approximately 30 Americans.
- US university satellite-campus/dorm voter registrations were held in Kreuzberg and Pankow to individually register approximately 35 voters, the majority of whom were first time voters.

Niki Vonderwell, Heidelberg:
For GOTV this year, we had 5 Voter Information Booths. We were able to increase our membership and get the word out about voting rights for Americans living abroad. Nancy Schmikat also made over 900 calls to our membership. We will have a holiday party to celebrate the good we have accomplished this year as a chapter. :)

Anne Marie Bessette, Gottingen:
At our Global Primary we had a table and registered several people - including some first-time voters. Evelyn Walls, Wiesbaden/Mainz:
Wiesbaden/Mainz Chapter held several GOTV events in downtown Wiesbaden to register voters and provide information regarding DA. We set up tables in the pedestrian zone in downtown Wiesbaden with our banner to inform individuals how to register to vote.

Pam Cory, Hamburg:
February 6, 2016 – the first Get Out The Vote (GOTV) Event for the 2016 election
This event, which was open to the public, dealt with US tax filing responsibilities of US citizens living abroad and provided information about how to register to vote. CPA David Opperman, who specializes in income tax preparation for Americans abroad, held an informal information session about tax obligations and filing US taxes.
September 5, 2016 – Campaign Kickoff – Labor Day Celebration
A large crowd – energized by many new members and the newly formed Young Dems group – attended our Campaign Kickoff--Labor Day Celebration on September 5th in Hamburg. Our guest speaker, Jan Pörksen, shared his thoughts on the democratic process with us before we broke into working groups to make plans for GOTV events. October 2 and October 15, 2016 – GOTV Information Booths
The Hamburg chapter hosted two weekend Get Out the Vote events with information tables on Jungfernstieg on the Alster. We spoke to well over a hundred people, including many Americans, encouraging them to request their absentee ballots, informing them about state deadlines for registration and voting, and inspired non-Americans to persuade their American friends to vote from abroad. It was a great opportunity to share with Hamburg a bit of good ol' fashioned American grassroots GOTV activism.

End of Report

This is the animated ad I wanted to post as advertising on facebook. Unfortunately, there were some technical difficulies I wasn't getting any help to fix and others went ahead posted a non-animated version.