A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 08, 2010
GOTV (Get Out The Vote)

"GOTV” is a political abbreviation for “get out the vote.” “GOTV” has been cited in print from at least 1981.

A “GOTV” campaign is usually not to get everyone to vote—just those likely to vote for a particular candidate, party or issue.

Political campaign professionals sometimes joke that “GOTV” stands for the backronym (back acronym) of “Go On TV.”


Wikipedia: Get out the vote
“Get out the vote” (or “getting out the vote”; GOTV) are terms used to describe two categories of political activity, both aimed at increasing the number of votes cast in one or more elections.

Non-partisan contexts
In non-partisan contexts, “Get out the vote” is a slogan (and “get out the vote” is a generic grammatical predicate) used by non-partisan organizations, such as the League of Women Voters, Rock the Vote, Long Distance Voter, and GoVoteAbsentee, motivated by the belief that failure of any eligible voter to vote in any election entails a loss to society.

Campaign contexts
In contexts of the efforts of candidates, party activities and ballot measure campaigns, “get-out-the-vote” or “GOTV” is an adjective indicating having the effect of increasing the number of the campaign’s supporters who will vote in the immediately approaching election. (As a noun, “get out the vote” or “GOTV” is shorthand for either “get-out-the-vote activities” or “the previously planned get-out-the-vote portion of our campaign”.)

Usually, GOTV is distinguishable from earlier activities necessary to carrying it out. That is, GOTV includes telephoning known supporters on the days leading up to an election (or on election day itself) or providing transport to and from polling stations for supporters, whereas canvassing and the process of identifying supporters usually takes place earlier in a campaign.

Other GOTV activities include literature drops early on election day or the evening before and an active tracking of eligible voters who have already voted.

The importance of get out the vote efforts increases as the total percentage of the population voting decreases. For instance, with only two-thirds of the population voting in a Canadian election it is often far easier and more cost effective to ensure that a hundred supporters show up on polling day than it is to convince a hundred voters to switch support from one party to the other. This has also tended to polarize electoral politics. A 90% turnout from a party’s radical base is often better than a 50 percent turnout from both radical and moderate supporters.

GOTV can also be extremely important in high turn-out elections when they are extremely close.

The Free Dictionary
Acronym Definition
GOTV Get Out The Vote (voter registration campaign)
GOTV Gathering of the Vibes (music festival)

Kossary - dKosopedia
GOTV
Acronym, Get Out The Vote.

Google Books
Portrait of an election
By Elizabeth Drew
New York, NY: Simon and Schuster
1981
Pg. 407:
In 1980 it would seem practical that major registration, targeting, and GOTV [get-out-the-vote] efforts be made at ...

Google Books
February 1982, The Crisis (NAACP), pg. 16, col. 1:
Contrary to popular belief and sometimes energetic rhetoric, the purpose of a voter registration/get-out-the vote (GOTV) campaign is not to sign up everyone eligible to vote.

Google Books
Why and how women will elect the next president
By Eleanor Smeal
New York, NY: Harper & Row
1984
Pg. 96:
Tenth Step: Get Out the Vote Today, campaigns tend to emphasize broad media appeals over the importance of getting-out-the-vote (GOTV) activities

20 October 1984, Alton (IL) Telegraph, “If age is a political issue, everyone counts” by Victor Riesel, pg. A4, col. 3:
Reagan is assailed by the postal union’s various campaign units --the VIP (Voices in Politics), the GOTV (get-out-the-vote), and the Women’s Vote Project.

16 May 1986, Philadelphia (PA) Inguirer, “Rendell counts on high turnout,” pg. B5:
In political shorthand, it’s GOTV: Get Out The Vote.

21 October 1988, Indiana (PA) Gazette, “‘World Series Window’ stressed at GOP banquet” by Dave Putnam, pg. 22, col. 6:
All of those called upon for remarks sounded the familiar “GOTV” theme (Get Out The Vote).

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Wednesday, September 08, 2010 • Permalink