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Washington United For Marriage
The folks working to get the Washington electorate to approve Referendum 74, affirming the right of LGBT couples to marry, have found a unique and groundbreaking way to harness Facebook to power their Get Out The Vote operation.

From Washington United for Marriage:

In what is believed to be the first application of its kind employed in the state, and one of the first nationwide, Washington United for Marriage (WUM) today launched a unique and powerful GOTV tool designed to engage family and friends to make sure all supporters of Referendum 74 cast their ballot by Nov. 6. The tool's potential power is significant because when you include the friends of WUM's Facebook fans, the campaign now has a reach that extends to every Facebook user eligible to vote in Washington.
WUM campaign manager Zach Silk says:
"This is a 21st century voter tool that we believe our supporters will love and implement. We now have more than 53,000 fans on Facebook.  By empowering them to reach out to their family, friends and colleagues to vote by Nov. 6th, we've turned each of them into the modern-day equivalent of a door-knocker.  The only difference is they can now reach hundreds of supporters and never leave the comfort of their living room or kitchen table."
The workings of it may be of great interest to anyone in the progressive movement that is looking for new ways to engage their GOTV crowd. The WAUM application cross-references a user's friend list with the Washington state voter database and is able to filter results according to the campaign's persuasion universe and indicators of voter reliability. (In other words, if a voter looks sympathetic, but flaky, it tells the user, "give them a prompt!")
Today, Washington United for Marriage launches a unique and powerful GOTV tool designed to engage family and friends and make sure all our supporters vote to Approve Referendum 74.

In fact, this new tool lets you be the modern-day equivalent of a door knocker.  Except, with the reach of Facebook behind you, you don't have to leave the couch or your desk.

Here's what we've done:  We loaded in two powerful tools into the arsenal assembled for our "Marriage Heroes" battalion.

First, there's the "Get Out Your Friends" Facebook connection tool. Here's how it works:

Use Facebook to log in at

This tool will cross reference your friend network with the Washington state voter database and determine who has already voted and who still needs to mark their ballots.

People in your network whose ballot has not yet been registered as received by the state will be flagged.
When you find a friend who hasn't voted, it's easy to click “Send Message” and express your support for the freedom to marry and activate your network to vote.

Our friend connect provides a sample message that you can copy and paste into your own.

You're encouraged to make your message personal. Telling your friends and family in your own words why marriage matters to you is the best way to motivate supporters.

Users are able to send Facebook messages directly from the campaign site.
Click "Send" and you're done.
If you're in Washington, or have a network of friends and family in Washington, I recommend you try it out (and not just for marriage, remind them to vote Jay Inslee and for your other favorite candidate or cause).

There are a few specifics that make this particularly clever and possible tactic to this campaign. For one, this is most possible in Washington as they have early voting and the Secretary of State there runs a relatively modern and sophisticated electoral machine that allows fast feedback on ballot tracking. Of course, the demographics that are supportive of marriage equality overlap greatly with Facebook's most active users.  

But a report out last year showed 43% of Americans use Facebook, most Americans with internet access use it once a month. And a recent article in the Washington Post cited 245 as the average number of people a typical Facebook user counts among their friends. That's a pretty substantial number of people for a single person to have an easy access to prompting to GOTV. The implications could be very interesting in states where early voting is available and the voter database is accessible.

If you're a voter organizer, this might be something you want to keep in mind as a possible addendum to your usual voter database.

Marriage equality action items after the fold...

More Action Items

If you aren't in Washington state, or don't have a network there, and want to help bring marriage equality home in the four states where it's under attack, Marriage Equality USA has launched a phone bank from home program.
Marriage Equality USA  has been running in-person phone bank from New York City
supporting campaigns in Maryland, Maine, Minnesota and Washington.
We are happy to announce the launch of our Get Out the Vote (GOTV) "Phone from Home" Program in cooperation with the campaigns in Maryland, Maine, Minnesota and Washington.  In addition to our in-person phone banks, the "Phone from Home" Program allows volunteers from across the country to call and encourage our supporters in those four states to turn out and vote for marriage equality!
See for details and to sign up.

It's not too late, funds can still be put to good use by all four campaigns.

Daily Kos for Marriage Equality ActBlue account is here. Please, give $3 to each of those four campaigns. You can donate to one, two, three or all four campaigns there.

Originally posted to Scott Wooledge on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 01:20 PM PDT.

Also republished by Milk Men And Women.

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