Personal contact with voters is a proven method of influencing how people will vote. While walking door-to-door talking to voters is the best method, personal telephone calls — not machine-generated robo calls — are a close second.
To help citizen activists educate voters about candidates, Americans for Prosperity has created its Freedom Phone System. This is part of AFP’s November is Coming initiative, designed to educate voters about candidates who favor big government programs or other freedom-killing policies.
Recently I signed up for the program and made some calls. It works this way: Click on the Freedom Phone site and sign up. The system requires your home address, so that the system can have you make calls to voters in your area.
After signing up, you can watch a video tutorial that explains how the system works. Then to make calls, you sit at your computer, log in and give the system your telephone number. This will be the number of the phone you want to use to make your calls. Then, the system calls you, so there’s no long distance charges, even though you may be calling voters in other parts of your state. Also, your home telephone number won’t appear on the caller ID of the voters you call.
When you’re ready to talk to a voter, just click and the system dials for you. There were — at least for my calls — two scripts I could use, one for speaking to a voter, and another to use if leaving a message on an answering machine.
At the end of each call, I would click on one of several buttons to indicate what happened during the call — no answer, left message on answering machine, etc. — so that the system can know which voters have been called and what were the results. Then I could choose to make another call or stop.
Freedom Phone is easy to use. It’s fun to talk to voters, although it’s surprising how many people don’t answer their telephone and let their answering machine handle the call. These personal messages left on answering machines are important. Voters can easily distinguish machine-made robo calls from human calls, and many will listen to a message from real person who volunteered time to make a telephone call.
Phone banks have been used by political campaigns of all parties for many years. AFP’s use of modern technology makes it easier for citizen activists to become involved — right from the comfort of their own homes — either in a big way or a small way, as every telephone call helps.
Nationally, AFP is offering prizes for top callers. In Kansas, our state chapter is offering free airfare to the 2011 AFPF Defending the American Dream Summit in Washington, D.C. next fall, or to the 2011 RightOnline conference in Minneapolis, to anyone who completes 150 calls in the Freedom Phone effort.