Canvassing FAQ

NGPVan, the leading canvassing software, defines canvassing as “The act of surveying voters in a given political district to ask about their voting plans in an upcoming election. It’s an awareness-building and information gathering strategy launched to inform voters about upcoming elections, convince undecided voters to support a specific candidate, encourage voter registration, and mobilize supportive voters to get out and vote.”

Essentially, we knock on people’s doors and speak with them. When the Dems of Davidson canvass, we do literature ‘lit’ drops which contain information about Democratic candidates while surveying voters. We ask questions like:

“What is the most pressing issue for you during this election?”

“How likely are you to vote for candidate X?”

Yes. The Dems of Davidson carefully compile ‘turfs’ or lists of houses in our communities based on each resident’s voting history. We canvass houses that have Democratic or Unaffiliated voters who have voted for Democrats at least 80% of all times they’ve voted. In other words, we ensure you only knock on doors belonging to friendly, progressive voters who will be happy to talk with you.

Additionally, we only canvass in the daylight and always recommend canvassing with a partner.

That’s okay! The Dems of Davidson host canvassing trainings, typically every month or at least every other month. Experienced canvassers walk you through detailed instructions on using the simple NGPVan app. This app tells you which houses to visit and allows you to log which voters you were able to speak to face-to-face. You will also learn canvassing best practices and get paired with someone experienced if it is your first time at training.

Canvassing trainings are posted on our monthly event calendar.

After you complete canvassing training, you can canvass immediately following for however long you choose. After your first time, you can pick up materials on a training day and then go canvass anytime you’d like before a certain cutoff date. Lots of people pick up their materials and then try to get as much done as they can that same day, but finish a few days later.

Need more info or ready to start canvassing?