Brooklyn Libertarian Party

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4/26/2016 1:17 am  #1

Petitioning techniques, my suggestions

What to say when approaching a prospective signatory? You must say what is comfortable for you, but I recommend 1) asking for exactly and only what you need, and 2) getting to the point immediately. Say, "Will you sign to put an independent candidate on the ballot this fall?" Do not say please. Do not ask if the prospect is registered to vote. Do not ask, "Can you help me?" That sounds like money. Do not say petition. People don't like to sign petitions. Don't argue. Do not approach a prospect who has heard or seen another prospect refuse. Move on. Answer a prospect's questions briefly. Stop talking as soon as a prospect indicates a willingness to sign. You have nothing to gain after that. Some voters do not like to be the first signer on a page. It doesn't hurt you to start each petitioning session with some signature at the top, either from the day before or your own (which you later cross out and do not submit).

Perhaps special for this year only: "Will you sign to put Gary Johnson for President on the ballot this fall?" "Will you sign to put the Libertarian Party on the ballot this fall?" "Will you sign to put a third candidate for President on the ballot this fall?"

Last edited by garypopkin (5/17/2016 11:57 pm)


6/24/2016 1:32 pm  #2

Re: Petitioning techniques, my suggestions

Why we should not ask "prospects" whether they're registered to vote.

Among Gary's helpful suggestions, is: "Do not ask if the prospect is registered to vote. "

I agree with Gary that we don't ask people whether they're registered to vote. Here's why:

1: It's mostly because it will waste of our time, as we could "invite" them to ask us questions better suited for the Board of Elections. For example: "I last voted for Nixon. Am I still registered to vote?" Or, "I moved in the last three weeks, can I still vote, or should I register again?" Or how about, "That's a good question. Let me search my [thick] wallet to find my voter's registration card"? 

2. People will say they're registered, when they're not, because they may be embarrassed to admit they're not registered to vote, or they simply like to lie.

3. Worse is we give people an excuse not to sign, when we ask them. They could then ask, "Do I have to be registered to sign? We'd correctly reply, "yes." Then they could say, "Sorry, I'm not registered." And off they go.

So, for those three (3) reasons, don't ask prospects whether they registered to vote. Besides, it's not up to us to determine whether people are registered to vote—let the challengers to our petitions do that!

But here's a cautionary: If someone tells you they're not registered to vote, and then ask whether they can still sign the petition, how would you respond? If you did as Nancy Reagan admonished and "just say no," go to the head of the class. If you let this person sign, after they told you they're not registered to vote, you will be committing fraud! And for all you know, this person might have a hidden camera taping the proceeding. Word to the wise. (You do remember the "Acorn Videos," don't you?)

But of course, if someone ask whether they have to be registered to vote before they can sign, we tell them "yes." (And we did not ask them first, of course.)

I hope I was helpful.

Thanks for reading. And thanks to Gary for his helpful suggestions.



7/04/2016 10:33 am  #3

Re: Petitioning techniques, my suggestions

How to deal with Hillary supporters

I often encounter people who won't sign because they support Hillary.

Unless they walk away, which is often, when I try to get them to sign by questioning their support, I get nowhere. For example, when people say that "it's time to elect a woman president," I'd agree with them, then I'd ask them, "But why this woman?" She has so much baggage and skeletons, why not Elizabeth Warren or Jill Stein?" The response I usually get is something like, "Sorry, no debates. Hillary has my undying support."

I also try to appeal to their fairness: "By signing, you don't have to vote for GJ, you only give him an opportunity to appear on the ballot. You do believe in equal opportunity, don't you, just as Hillary does?"

That doesn't get me any signatures.

One ploy I've recently tried is to get pass their objections, which is often along the lines of a fear that anymore candidates on the ballot might "ruin" Hillary's chances of getting elected (some may even evoke "memories of Nader," when his presence on the 2000 ballot allegedly "stole the election" from Al Gore, but this "myth" is debunked here: ).

My reply, and ploy, is to say, "Oh come on, now. We all know that Hillary will be elected, no matter what. The system is rigged. The game is fixed. If by signing this and getting GJ on the ballot, we can at least pretend that the game is not fixed, can't we?

I've found that with this ploy I could get some Hillary supporters to sign, however grudgingly, While I haven't tried this on Trump supporters, I think it will also work on some of them.

Who have not encountered strong resistance to signing our petitions from Hillary supporters? Try my ploy and see if you can show them that their "resistance is futile."

If you have other ideas to "turn" Hillary supporter to sign our petitions, especially those that work, you're certainly welcome to tell us.

Meanwhile, I hope I was helpful.

Thanks for reading.


Last edited by AltonYee (7/04/2016 12:09 pm)


7/04/2016 5:24 pm  #4

Re: Petitioning techniques, my suggestions

I tell Hillary supporters that Gary Johnson and Bill Weld are former Republican governors. I tell them that a Democrat voter is not capable of voting for someone who was once a Republican. It will turn their stomachs.

Last edited by garypopkin (7/06/2016 3:05 am)

     Thread Starter

7/07/2016 10:59 am  #5

Re: Petitioning techniques, my suggestions

I was right.

When I tried to cajole Hillary supporters to sign my petition by telling them that she will get elected no matter what, since the system is rigged and the game is fixed (see my entry above), I also told them there was "no way" she would get indicted, let alone prosecuted, for her e-mail scandals (among other scandals).

Well, from recent events, it seemed I was proved right. (Hillary's new nick name should be, "Madame Teflon Pant Suit.")

I'll just have to rephrase my shtick to cajole Hillary supporters to sign. (And it's always good to be proven right, isn't it?)

Thanks for reading.



7/24/2016 9:49 am  #6

Re: Petitioning techniques, my suggestions

Technique for getting scads of signatures without trying too hard. 

 ​Here's a sign that if you just hold up to the polity, they will decide whether to sign your petition. You will be surprised that many will sign. Best of all, you will need less work than approaching them with your sales pitch. 

Here's the link to the sign:  

Instructions: Print two copies of the sign and put them in a sheet protector, with both signs facing out. For best results, use Wordpad, which is what I used to create the sign. Set the page to "landscape," and set all the margins to 1" except for the bottom, which should be set to .25"  

Now go out and see how many more signatures you can collect. And tell us about your experience. I regret I did not suggest this earlier in the petition drive. But you still have a few days left to try it.  

I hope I was helpful.  

Thanks for reading.  


Last edited by AltonYee (7/24/2016 9:55 am)


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