Q: How do I access the BERN app?
Q: What is the BERN app?
The BERN app is a tool that helps you talk to people you know and people you don’t know about the election, and track your conversations. Whether the person you meet is a Bernie supporter or not, we want to have open, honest, and thorough conversations with our friends, family, and neighbors about the 2020 election, and the issues they care about the most.
Q: Where does this data come from?
The data for matching people to the voter file is from publicly-available voter data from state Secretary of State’s offices. However, the BERN app only gives users access to a very limited amount of that publicly available data. To use the app, you must input a voter’s first and last name, and either their city and state or zip code. The only information that BERN gives a user that the user does not supply on their own is age. We include age so that you can make sure you’re matching the correct voter.
Q: I’m concerned about how you’re using data.
Talking to voters and keeping track of those conversations to be able to follow up and turn supporters out to vote has long been standard practice for political campaigns. For decades, campaigns have asked volunteers to go out and talk to voters using voter lists. In fact, most campaigns give volunteers access to voter lists and searchable voter databases that include home address, date of birth, phone number, voting history, and other information. If you’ve ever knocked on doors with a campaign using an app like MiniVAN, you probably have encountered a similar list with similar information.
Far from giving volunteers more data than usual, our tool gives volunteers far less access to data than standard campaign tools. You must search for one voter at a time, you must already know the voter’s first and last name and either city and state or zip code, and after you find a voter are only given first and last name, age, and city and state. The only information that you are given that you may not know already is the voter’s age. Once you submit information about a voter (like their voting preferences, what issues are important to them, and whether they are a student or union member) only the campaign has access to that information. Other users of the BERN app will not be able to see the responses that you record using the app.
Additionally, BERN does not give out voters’ contact information. There is no way to use the BERN app to contact voters who do not wish to be contacted.
Q: What happens to information that I enter in the BERN app? Does it edit my voter registration? Who has access to the responses I record?
Entering information into the BERN app about a voter does not edit anyone's official voter information. It just sends information about that voter to the Bernie campaign, so that we know who is supporting Bernie and can make sure they’re registered to vote and that they turn out to vote. No other BERN users will have access to the responses that you record.
Q: Will you add my friends to the Bernie email list if I enter them in the BERN app?
No. Currently we do not even ask for contact info in friend to friend mode. We are relying on you—the person who knows the voter—to follow up with them. In community canvass mode, we give you the option to ask a voter for their contact information if they would like to get updates from the campaign, but that is optional.
Q: How do I use BERN?
Q: Where can I use the BERN App?
You can use the BERN App at home in your pajamas, at your local farmer’s market, on a street corner, or at your friend’s birthday party. The real question is: where can’t you use it?
Q: Who can use the BERN App?
As long as you are following the volunteer principles of the campaign and the terms and conditions of BERN, anyone can use the app!
Q: I don’t have a phone — can I still use the app?
YES! BERN is a web-based application, meaning there is nothing to download on your mobile device. You can use BERN on any internet-enabled device like a computer, tablet, or phone.
Q: Is this an online or native (downloadable) app?
Q: What is the difference between Community Canvass mode and Friend to Friend mode?
Community Canvass mode is intended for use when you meet someone for the first time and talk to them about Bernie. You can schedule a Community Canvass event ahead of time to talk to voters with friends, or you can just talk to people around you! For example, if you go to the park and someone compliments you on your awesome Bernie shirt, you can pull out your phone, open the app, and pull up Community Canvass mode to get their name and gather data from the conversation you have with them.
Friend to Friend mode is for talking to people we know: our friends, family, or neighbors. When we are friend-to-friend canvassing, we are using the BERN app to record information about 1) who we know and 2) how they feel about Bernie and the issues at stake in this election. Just like we record information on voters through community canvassing door-to-door canvassing, we can record information on the preferences of individual voters who we personally know.
What is community canvassing?
Community canvassing is simple: it’s going up to people in a public place, talking to them about the election and the Bernie Sanders campaign, and asking them to fill out information about their voting preferences in the app. You can canvass on the bus, on a street corner, at a farmer’s market, or outside of a grocery store. You can host a canvass through the official Bernie events map, or you can canvass people around you every day!
When and where can I canvass my community?
You can canvass wherever you are: on the bus, on a street corner, at a farmer’s market, or outside of a grocery store. Read this guide for more info.
Where can I find a community canvass event near me?
To join other Bernie supporters for a community canvass, you can go to the events page in BERN or map.berniesanders.com
How do I host my own community canvass?
You sign up to host your own community canvass at map.berniesanders.com. You can read this guide to help you host a successful community canvass.
I had a problem while canvassing, who should I talk to?
You can email [email protected] with any questions, to reach out with any technical issues you’ve had. If there has been an emergency while canvassing, call 911.
What are some tips for staying safe while canvassing?
What is friend to friend organizing?
Friend-to-friend organizing means talking to people we know – our friends, family, coworkers, classmates, neighbors, congregation members, fellow union members – about the 2020 election.
When we are friend-to-friend organizing, we are using the BERN app to track our intentional, ongoing conversations with everyone we know. We record information about 1) who we know and 2) how they feel about Bernie and the issues at stake in this election.
Just like we learn about the preferences of voters through community canvassing or door-to-door canvassing, we can learn about the preferences of individual voters who we personally know through friend-to-friend organizing.
What if I don’t know which candidate my friend is supporting? Can I still add them to my contact list in the BERN App?
Yes! The first step to friend to friend canvassing is building out your contact list in the BERN App, regardless of if you know the candidate preferences of each of your contacts. You have the option to indicate if the person is supporting Bernie, but you can leave that blank if you aren’t sure or don’t know.
How do I add my friends in the BERN App?
Our immediate goal is to add as many people as we can to our personal contact lists in the BERN App. To make building your list as easy as possible, you can now pull up your contacts and add friends directly from your phone using the “Import” feature. The campaign is NOT collecting contact information of your friends - you are only adding your friend’s first and last name to your list. When you click “Import”, the app will bring up your phone contacts - from there, only choose the people you would feel comfortable reaching out to about the election, or whose support score you already know. When you are done looking through your contacts and have added people to your list, click “Add Friends”, and they will appear right in your list. When you’ve added friends to your list, you will see red icons appear next to most of your friends’ names - these are your follow up actions! These are the actions our campaign needs you to take with that friend, like getting them to download BERN, or reaching out with critical voting information, to make sure we persuade and turnout as many people as possible for Bernie.
How do I talk to my friends about Bernie?
All the resources you need to have productive and persuasive conversations with people you know are also available right in the app. There are now dozens of videos and podcast episodes on all of the issues central to our campaign - you can even filter by type of video or by issue! For example, if you have a friend whose top issue is climate change, you can head over to the video tab, click “Filter” and choose “Green New Deal”. This will populate only those videos that cover the Green New Deal. When you find the perfect video, simply click on the video, click “share this video” and send to your contact using the form of contact that you normally use to reach out to that friend! If you normally text, text them! If you primarily chat on Facebook - send the video using Facebook! Using the method of communication that feels most natural for that friend is key to making your outreach as genuine and impactful as possible.
Which people can I add to my contact list the BERN app?
We use the word “friend” very broadly: You can add anyone you have met and known in your life to the app. We encourage you to prioritize people who you are willing to talk to about Bernie and the election.
Can I add non-voters and people who are not eligible to vote to my contact list?
Yes! This election matters to everyone, including those who are not eligible to vote.
How do I know who I have added to my contact list in the BERN app?
When you click “Save” after completing the friend to friend canvass form for someone you know, that person is added to your contact list in the app. You can see how many people and who you have added to your contact list in the Friends section of the app.
I need HELP with the app! What should I do?
Send any questions to [email protected]
I can’t match the person I’m looking up in the voter file. Why is that?
If you can’t match the person you’re looking up, don’t worry! Sometimes, the data hasn’t quite caught up with the voter if the voter has moved, changed their name, or something similar that could throw off our data lookup.
If you encounter someone you can’t find in the app, simply add their information without matching them. We will look into why we couldn’t find them in the app and work to make our system even better.
No one candidate is capable of taking on Donald Trump and the billionaire class alone. There is only one way we win — and that is together.
Add your name to tell Bernie you’re in!
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