This toolkit is designed for those wishing to volunteer their time and effort to help organise Muslims within their local communities to take part in the forthcoming general election.
Get Out & Vote! are pleased to confirm a national training programme is to be held for all volunteers in Leicester on Sunday March 21st 2010 which will be taught by an array of mentors from Britain’s most successful Muslim leaders to experienced political analysts.
If you wish to volunteer, please email us your name, contact details, and your constituency seat to firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteers must be prepared to:
- Donate three or four hours a week for the six weeks leading up to the election (on Thursday 6th May)
- Be proficient in reading and writing in English as well as able to use email/internet
- Above all, be passionate about wanting Muslims to get involved in the current democratic process
- Get Out & Vote! will be holding a free-of-charge one day intensive training event in due course for volunteers – further details will be posted on our website
- Get Out & Vote! will also put volunteers in touch with like minded people and Imams in their care so efforts can be combined and efficiently co-ordinated
There are five key strands:
Mosques, Community Organisations & Council of Mosques
Get Out & Vote! have a list of mosques and Imams nationally who are prepared to support our objectives.
Within these mosques, volunteers will typically need to run an initial information campaign (via a co-ordinated Khutbah/bayān/announcements after Jumu‘ah/posters/leaflets campaign etc.) to ensure the community are encouraged to register onto the electoral roll before the voter deadline. Click here for details on this campaign.
Get Out & Vote! can also help with the artwork for the posters/source a Khutbah/provide lists of Imams and mosques we have contact with already.
There are always some mosques who will not want to get involved with anything seen to be ‘political’. For those mosques, leafleting on the doorstep post-Jumu‘ah is the simplest option.
Please note the electoral roll deadline will likely be three weeks or so before the election. Ideally this campaign should also be used to simultaneously publicise the Hustings event (see below).
The second phase of the mosque campaign is to then repeat the exercise of Khutbah/bayān/announcements on the last Friday before the election itself to ensure the Muslim voter turnout is maximised – at this stage Hustings would have been done if applicable.
Local Ethnic Radio Stations
Get Out & Vote! have prepared some content that can be aired on local radio stations and many larger stations are already on board. Click here for details.
Volunteers can always support the campaign via their own content, and use the station to flag up important dates to their readers, publicise the Hustings as well as invite the local activist to appear on the programme on a few occasions to help inform the community – the Husting itself could also be covered live on radio, if at all possible!
This is of course not to overlook the important announcements that need to be made before the Event and the actual Voting day.
Get Out & Vote! are able to provide volunteers with a website they can update themselves for their parliamentary seat.
There is also a knack to getting your campaign publicised virally in your local area – click here for a list of suitable ideas.
It cannot be emphasised enough how few Muslims are actually organised and ready to vote in time for Election Day. Many people haven’t correctly filled in forms to register for postal voting for example, and many people simply aren’t registered to vote full-stop! You can help ensure that all members of the community are supported during this process.
Prior to Election Day, knocking on peoples’ doors in Muslim areas and asking them to come out and vote – if a team of ten were to split into five teams of two and spend four two-hour sessions on the consecutive weekends prior to Election Day knocking on doors in the Asian areas, this would massively underline credibility with the candidates and mosques.
On Election Day itself, arrange lifts to polling stations, hand out leaflets outside polling stations prior to people going in to vote etc, knock on peoples doors, hand out leaflets outside mosques after prayers etc.
Please see this document HERE for further very useful and important information.
A ‘Husting’ is a public platform on which candidates stand before the public and take questions from the audience. Click here for a guide to how to hold a husting.
This type of event will be useful for inviting the main candidates to an open meeting where a list of questions (ideally not to be disclosed in advance) is asked. Volunteers could contact the main parties and get them to agree to this type of event. Click here for a pool of possible questions.
Get Out & Vote! can also help with providing a suitable host for the event if needed.
Hustings should take place no later than three weeks prior to the elections and to save effort possibly combine the publicity campaign with the electoral roll registration drive mentioned before. This event should receive maximum coverage before and after to help voters put their candidates under the spotlight – local ethnic media channels such as Asian radio stations or perhaps a TV station if you have one, should be used to air the event for maximum coverage.
Again we need all the help we can get so please email us your name, contact details, and your constituency seat to email@example.com so you can be supported and mentored with all resources needed to make our collective efforts worthwhile God-willing.