Election season is in full swing!
While the general election is still a few months away, the spring and summer primaries are when candidates are chosen and the tone is set for the final showdowns in November.
To prepare for the November elections, we recently launched a Get Out the Vote (GOTV) Campaign targeting Veteran voters in California during the primary. This was a virtual campaign which utilized various remote strategies to get Veterans involved in the primary process. Specifically, we targeted conservative-leaning voters who were not typically engaged in primary voting. Through targeted peer-to-peer (P2P) text messaging and automated voice calls, we were able to make contact with 60,000 inactive voters in the Central Valley & San Diego area, urging them to vote in upcoming primaries. Due to redistricting in the state, nominees determined in the primaries will likely become sitting members in government, so the Veteran vote is essential!
Voting in primaries is often overlooked by many constituents, so it is also important for the public to understand why their participation in these elections is important. For example, there are open primaries and closed primaries which have different rules for who can vote. “Open” allows voters from any party to vote on a candidate e.g. Democrats may vote in a Republican primary election and vice versa. “Closed” only allows voters registered to the party to vote on their candidates. Instead of just going with the flow and voting on the primary winners, voting in these elections gives the public an opportunity to determine who the candidates will be. Often, winners will adjust their platform or “rework” election strategies to cater to the demographics who showed up in the primary season. Participating in the primary elections can also help prevent candidates who lean to their party’s extreme, as often only the most partisan voters participate in primary votes.
And of course, for our organization, getting Veterans involved is our number one priority! In the run-up to the 2016 elections, Air Force Veteran & American Legion Commander for Louisiana Post 13 5th District, Huey O’Neal, wrote a compelling article articulating the importance of Veterans voting in our elections. “Veterans must Vote to make their voices heard in the political arena. Americans (veterans) must vote to protect our liberties. Voting is required to protect our freedoms,” he wrote.
Through their votes, Veterans maintain the vigilance required to ensure our way of life in this country is preserved. When Americans stop voting, they open the door to corruption and provide the opportunity for small groups to dictate their agendas, instead of representing the interest of the citizens. So, our goal is to make sure Americans never stop making their voices heard and that more Veterans than ever continue to be part of that process with each new election!