What It’s Like to Phone Bank

By Kyle Inselman, Communications Intern

This election is historically important for LGBT rights, and the One Colorado team has been organizing several ways for people to get involved to ensure we elect the pro-equality majority we need.

One of the ways that volunteers are helping out is through phone banking. Focused on building support for candidates in critical state-level races, phone banks are a way to reach registered voters in various districts and make sure they have the information they need before they cast their ballots.

I’ve volunteered at two of the One Colorado phone banks so far: one for Representative Daniel Kagan in House District 3, and another for Joann Ginal in House District 52.

The campaign office where both were held was energetic and just what I imagined it to be—mailers posted up on the walls, yard signs stacked around the room, and the offices stuffed full of other campaign materials and political posters. Each wall was lined with desks and tables where we would each take up our posts, list of voters in one hand and phone in the other. One night another group was there dividing up door-hangers into thousands of manageable stacks with a good hundred or so hangers each, chatting excitedly about debates. Simply put, the atmosphere awakened me to the thrilling and vital importance of the volunteer work I was there to do.

For someone like me who’s very phone shy, the first few calls made me pretty nervous. Would I say the right thing? What if they aren’t interested? What if they hang up? But much to my luck, the first voter that answered one of my calls was someone genuinely interested in the election and who was looking forward to reading through all the materials they’d already received in the mail and on their doorstep. I was uplifted to know that there are people out there responding to canvasses, calls, and all the other campaign strategies, and learning about the candidates before they vote. Phone banking ensures that we reach both those voters that are currently sifting through campaign materials, as well as the voters that aren’t sure where to begin to learn about their candidates.

Each phone bank event lasts around two hours, and out of the hundreds of numbers we dial, each person talks to a couple dozen voters. At the end of the evening, we all come together and talk about the calls we made and the voters we spoke with. Some remain undecided, some refuse to talk to us, but others are very encouraging. Last week at the phone bank, returning volunteer Bill Ogg told me he had a great conversation with a voter who congratulated him on being a great volunteer. Another night, volunteer Ann Ogg reached a voter so excited about the candidate that they wanted to talk to the campaign manager about getting more involved themselves!

I can definitely say that I had a great time at both the phone banks, and I’m excited to attend more. We have a few coming up in the last couple weeks before Election Day, and we hope to see you there!

October 25: Phone Friend-zy! in Colorado Springs
October 25: Phone Friend-zy! in Grand Junction
October 30: Rep. Andy Kerr for SD 22
November 1: Sen. Evie Hudak for SD 19
November 3: Phone Friend-zy!
November 4: Phone Friend-zy!