Notes from the Field

It’s beginning to look a lot like…Primary Election season!

May 29, 2018

By Erin Miller, Missoula Field Manager

As one of the newest staff members of the Forward Montana team, when I first heard the acronym GOTV, I had about 20 guesses as to what it could be, finally concluding it was probably another Google doc.

My name is Erin and I’m the Missoula Field Manager, which is a fancy way of saying that I lead our field efforts by managing our fellowship, organizer positions, and our stellar internship program (spring, summer, & fall!). Field efforts are the bread and butter of what we at Forward Montana do: We work to get our peers registered to vote, talk to them about the issues they care about (and help with the tools to do something about it), and then we…da da DUN….get young people across Montana to the polls.

So what is GOTV? A hip new band? An error code on your laptop? Neither–it’s our statewide Get Out the Vote campaign. During GOTV, we spend roughly 30 days devoting our time to turning young people out to vote. And who is we? With field managers leading the efforts in Missoula, Bozeman, and Billings, we rely on the diligence and passion of numerous volunteers across the state.

Over the course of GOTV, we call over 13,000 young folks and send over 5,000 text messages. We ask questions like: “Have you received your ballot?” “Do you know where your polling location is?” “Can you commit to voting in the primary?” GOTV is a huge part of Forward MT Foundation’s mission. It’s never enough to simply register young Montanans. We have to ensure their ballot is turned in and their voice is heard–that’s where the change starts.

What would all this work mean without a party at the end?! Join us for our Missoula Primary Election Night Watch Party at the Badlander on Tuesday, June 5th, starting at 8 pm. We’ll be showing the results and talking about ‘em. Plus, drinks and food on us. Happy Primary!