Every election is critical and needs to be treated as the most important election ever. There is much discussion on how to get out the vote, and it is more important than ever that we activate our base. There are several techniques to use to get out the vote. If what you are doing is working, keep it up. If you want to help but aren’t sure how to, here are some suggestions.

While there are advantages to becoming a voter registrar, I would suggest you do not do so. You do not need to become a voter registrar if you want to give someone a voter registration card. A voter registrar must register any voter that asks; they cannot pick and choose who they register. You do have to become a registrar if you are going to help someone fill out a card or mail their card yourself. I would suggest that if someone isn’t going to take the time to fill out a registration card and mail it in, that person is probably not going to vote.

I would suggest, rather, going to guns shows or standing in front of businesses such as Hobby Lobby with a form for people to fill out their name, address, email, and birthdate. You need to ask questions about a specific issue—do not simply ask them if they are Republican or Democrat. Here are some examples:

• Do you want to protect your right to bear arms?
• Do you support Trump’s judicial nominees?

If they say no, move on. If they say yes, ask the person, “Are you registered to vote at your current address?” Engage that person. Make sure they have voter registration cards to give to friends and family. Get that person’s address and email so you can follow up with them. Check to see if that person is registered to vote at the address given—if not, follow up and tell that person that they need to update their registration. Email them reminders to vote in primary elections, city council elections, and general elections. If you have preferred candidates, you can use this email list to share that information.

When you get to the general election, make sure your email reminder tells the voter that there is no longer straight-ticket voting in Texas. Know how the ballot is going to look and explain it to the voter. Know how your voting machines will work and explain it to the voter. Remind the voter to keep going all the way down the ballot. If voting in your county is electronic, remind the voter to keep hitting “next” until there are no more choices. Make sure the voters in your area know how to tell when he or she has reached the bottom of the ballot when using a machine.

Please get people registered. Please get them to the polls. Please get them to go all the way down the ballot. Please prepare them to use the voting machines. Please prepare them for long lines. Engage them politely, effectively, and often.

This is a commentary submitted and published with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to Texas Scorecard, please submit your article to submission@texasscorecard.com.

Patricia Baca Bennett

Patricia Baca Bennett is judge for the 360th District Court in Texas.