Direct Voter Contact, Canvassing

Door-To-Door Canvassing Best Practices

Minivan Best Practices

Download your list when you get to your turf
Wait until you get to the area you’ll be knocking to input the list number into MiniVAN.

Plan Your Route
Use Map view to plan your route and Household view to actually walk it. Sometimes houses aren’t located in exactly the right place on the map.

Use Find My Next Door to find the next closest door for you to knock.

If you’re knocking in an apartment complex, zoom all the way in to see individual doors.

Protect the Data
Record results after you leave each door and sync regularly!

Preserve Battery Life
Put your phone in low power mode, close your other apps, turn off wifi and bluetooth, hit the side button to temporarily turn your screen off between doors.

Troubleshooting: MiniVAN didn’t work?

  • Log out, log back in.

  • Double check to make sure your list number is correct.

  • Turn your phone off then on again.

  • Uninstall and reinstall it.

Survey question cheat sheet

Were you able to contact this person?

Y: Only select Yes if you spoke to the person face-to-face!

N: Select No if you did knocked on the door and were not able to go through the script with the person. More specifically, select:

  • Not Home: This response is used when voters don’t answer the door. You should also select this if the person said they’re busy. Also, this response is used generally when you cannot reach the voter, but the situation doesn’t fall in any of the responses below.

  • Refused: This response is only used when all three things are true: 1) You know you are talking to the voter you want to contact, 2) the voter knows who you are and why you are talking and 3) the voter clearly tells you to go away or stop calling.

  • Inaccessible: The door is inaccessible due to a gate without a doorbell, dog, or other obstruction.

  • Deceased: The voter being contacted is no longer alive.

  • Moved: The voter being contacted has moved from the listed address.

Do’s while canvassing

Finish your doors
Knock on all doors—and only the doors—on your list. Someone will have to go back to doors that were not knocked. We have to use our time wisely!

Be friendly, but be persistent
We want as many truthful answers as possible. If no one comes to the door, wait ten seconds and knock a second time.

Use the script and ask every question
The script is there to guide your conversations and we need to know the answers to all of the questions on it.  However, do speak from the heart and tell your personal story rather than reading directly from the script

Collect accurate data
Mark your data accurately and be sure to hit ‘Sync’ when you’re done.

Don’ts while canvassing

Don’t go inside a house or stay at one door too long
Safety comes first! If you’re invited into a home, politely decline. If someone wants to talk for more than five minutes, politely suggest that you’d better go talk to more people!

Don’t give people an out
Steer clear from using language like, “Do you have a minute to talk or are you busy?” or, “Can we count on your support or are you still thinking things through?” as these make it easy for someone to tell you ‘no’ and shut down the conversation.

Don’t put literature in the mailbox
Leaving literature in the mailbox is a federal offense. Leave it in the door or under the mat.

Don’t be rude or negative.
Remember, you represent Indivisible. We are standing together as a community to build the progressive country we believe in.

Things to remember while canvassing

You are not soliciting
Public door-to-door canvassing is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and state and local governments cannot require you to obtain a special permit to canvass, even if you see a “no soliciting” sign. That said, if someone asks you to leave their property, you should do so.

Keep an eye out for private property
Most neighborhoods are public areas, but some—such as nursing homes, apartment complexes, and gated communities—may be private property. If you are canvassing in one of these communities and are asked to leave, you should respect this request and move to another area or download a new list.

Only mark responses received from a voter listed
Only mark responses when they come from the exact person on your walk list. No one else in the household may respond on their behalf (including spouses, parents, children, etc.). If the target voter has moved mark them as moved. While it is acceptable to collect a supporter card from a new resident, do not record this.