Part four in a four part series on Ohio Central Committee: A step by step guide on how to run for your Central Committee seat and change the world.
- Decide it’s a good idea to get involved. Our problems in the United States are in part, our fault. We stopped watching the store. We thought that the professionals, the ones in the suits, were looking out for us. We were wrong. They were looking out for themselves, their next check, their next job, their next connection. This goes for every level of government from the Presidency to the local level, school board and city council. We need to start watching again. We need to get involved. The most effective way to do this is to be involved in your county’s Central Committee. If you need to learn more about what Central Committee is this post called 10 things to know about Central Committee will help.
- Call your county board of elections and ask them for seven pieces of information.
- Ask them what your precinct or ward number by giving them your address.
- Ask when your Central Committee seat is up for reelection.
- Ask when the filing deadline is for your seat.
- Ask what you have to do to file. How do you get a petition? Do you need signatures?
- Ask them who your current Central Committee representative is for your party.
- Ask the board of elections for a copy of you precinct’s voter list. Ask them to email you a spreadsheet of the voters, not a PDF. You can’t sort or add to a PDF, it’s like a picture.
- Ask if the Board of Election prints voting labels? If so, how much does it cost and how long does it take?
- Ask for a precinct map. This shows the roads and neighborhoods in your precinct.
- Write down why you are running. Might seem a bit silly, but it is very effective to get your thoughts in order. Take a few minutes and answer these questions. Write them down. Then trim it up so if someone asks you in an elevator who you are and why you are running you could do it in less than a minute.
- What are you running for?
- Why do you want to do it?
- Why are you qualified to hold this office?
- What do you want to do when you are elected?
- How can the person I am talking to help me? Last line should be vote for me on primary day…. And any other way you want to communicate with people.
- Take care of the technical stuff. Fill out your petition to run for Central Committee. You have to get an official copy of the petition from your board of elections. You may need to get a few signatures. These would be people in your precinct that are on your voter list. Most counties need five signatures. Your spouse can sign your petition. It is up to you when you want to file or turn in your petition to board of elections. Most people wait as late as they can to file. You don’t want to kick the bee hive. If the establishment starts to see a bunch of people filing for Central Committee they may start finding people to run for those seats. Many people get the petition filled out, take it to the board of election to make sure its filled out correctly and then wait to file it. The only risk is if your petition is filled out wrong, you would have to get signatures a second time. Make sure you fill out your petition correctly.
- Take a look at your walking list from the Board of Elections.
- The houses you need to focus on are only the people that vote in your party. You can also talk to Independents if you want to, but this is a political party election. The voters need to ask for a Republican or Democrat ballot to vote for you in this race.
- Make a list of your voter. Go through your list and identify the people/homes you want to target.
- Create a list of houses you want to deliver your bags to or mailing labels for voters you want to send letters to.
- Get to know who is in your precinct. Look over your voter list that you got from the Board of Elections. Who do you know; few friends from church, parents you know from your kids school, neighbors, old friends? Give them a call. Here are five things to make sure you do in that phone call.
- Explain Central Committee. Here is a post about it if you want a clear concise explanation.
- Tell them the voting day and ask for their support.
- Make sure you ask for their email, so you can communicate with them all at once.
- Ask if they know anyone else in the neighborhood that is like-minded and ask if they could introduce you.
- If they are really supportive, ask if they will help you pass out information. 1-2 hours of help max.
- Tell people you are running. Now you should start thinking about how you are going to let people know you are running.
- Write your introductory email/letter. Keep it simple. Use the questions you answered earlier for your elevator speech. Make sure you include your contact information; phone number, email, address….facebook if you have it, Twitter if you have it, a website if you have it….. but you don’t have to have all of those things. Keep this as simple and manageable as possible. Be sure to include information about what Central Committee is, you will be shocked how many people have never heard of it.
- Put together the emails you have into an email list. If you have 50 names or less you can use your normal email list. If you have more names, you may want to use an Email Service Provider like Mail Chimp. It is easy and free, up to 2,000 names. Send your list an email about who you are and why you are running. Tell them you will send out one more email to remind them to vote on Election Day. Also ask if they will forward your email to friends they have in the neighborhood.
- For people in the neighborhood you don’t know, decide if you will have a stamped letter or door hanger bag with your letter in it….or both. You can have more than one communication. In addition to your letter, you can ask your friends in the neighborhood to write letters of support for you. The amount of communication you do depends, on the amount of time and money you can commit.
- Door to Door – There are two benefits to a door hanger bag. It is a bit cheaper than stamps and you have the option of knocking on the door and saying hi. If you get to talk to a voter you can ask for their email address and phone number.
- Literature Drop – You can deliver their material in a door knob bag and not talk to the voter. Just drop the literature. That works too. You can have volunteers help with that.
- Here is a link to Uline that sells that kind of material http://www.uline.com/BL_105/Uline-Doorknob-Bags. These are boxes of 1,000, so if you know someone else running you could split a box. The boxes are less that $50. We suggest getting the 9×13’’ bags so you don’t have to fold your letter. Folding is a chore. You could also put other candidate information in your bag if you are on the same ballot.
- These bags or letters can be delivered at any point in the election. If you are only doing one contact, I would make it as close to the election as possible. Also consider the date of early voting… You may want to do two letters.
- If this is your first race KEEP IT SIMPLE!!!! Write a letter. Get it to your neighbors. Talk to the people you know. Tell them why it’s important. Ask them to spread the word. Keep it simple. Keep it simple. Keep it simple. These races are super tiny. One hundred votes…maybe two hundred.
- Day of the election, be outside your polling location.
- Make a small sign with your name on it. Shake peoples hand as they walk in. Ask for their vote.
- Look for the board of election flags. You must be outside the flags, 100 feet from the door.
- Not everyone voting at this location will be from your precinct, but it never hurts to say hi.
- Create a small flyer or slate card. You can create your own slate card with everyone you support on the ballot and put your name at the end. People like slate cards….
- Have fun. Get to know your neighbors again. Let them know that you are interested in politics. Become a source of political information in your neighborhood.
- After the election there are still things to do
- If you win, congratulations. Your county party will send you information on reorganization within a few weeks. This reorganization meeting is huge. It is where a lot of decisions are made. Try to get to know other Central Committee members in your county and have a plan.
- If you lose, it’s okay. You can still be a political influence in your neighborhood. Talking to neighbors about issues. Keeping people up to date with what is happening in the world in very important.
- Keep recruiting. Thanks for running! In two or four years… the amount of things you will learn about politics will be more then you want to know.
- Please stay in touch with the Ohio Precinct Project.
- Continue to find more people in your county to run. It’s not politics, its arithmetic. More numbers, more control.
Together we can change Ohio and the nation.
A four part series on Central Committee in Ohio:
Part One: Ten things to know about Central Committee
Part Two: Yell at the TV and think Central Committee
Part Three: Wanted: Men and women of Character interested in changing the world
Part Four: Ten things you need to know to run for Central Committee