They want you to vote, but they're not political parties
3rd party groups are in the midst of aggressive get-out-the-vote campaigns
It's not just political parties trying to get you to the ballot box next week.
Several third-party organizations from across the political spectrum have initiatives underway to persuade Ontarians to vote in the provincial election.
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Ontario Proud, an organization that has produced advertisements and social media content critical of the Liberals and NDP, is now focusing on get-out-the-vote efforts in the final days of the campaign.
Ontario Proud founder Jeff Ballingall says his group started a voter identification program last weekend, "so we have a better understanding of the vote, and so that we can get voters to the polls."
He says the group is using an automatic system to make phone calls to ask people how they plan to vote.
He says if Ontario Proud can determine someone it's reached is a PC supporter, "they'll receive a message closer to election date to make sure they are voting."
The group is also hiring students to act as "street teams" to distribute pamphlets critical of the Liberal Party outside transit stations in the GTA and the Ottawa area.
But Ontario Proud isn't the only group hitting the phones in an effort to influence the vote.
Leadnow.ca is helping to organize its own get-out-the-vote effort, targeting Liberal or NDP voters.
"This election is super volatile," said Leadnow's Brittany Smith. "A handful of votes could make the difference between a PC candidate winning or losing."
She says the organization is providing volunteers with a software package that allows them to set up a phone bank in their community.
"They can use this super simple tech that lets them call into battleground ridings and talk to our key voters and make sure that the voters we want to show up and vote on election day actually have a plan to show up and go vote."
Smith says there are 67 phone banks in place across the province, and figures Leadnow volunteers have reached about 30,000 voters so far. She says unlike political parties, they can't work off of membership lists, and are instead sourcing their numbers from telephone directories. That means they're more likely to reach voters with traditional landlines instead of mobile phones.
That's why some of the political parties are trying to move their efforts to smart phones.
The NDP says it is asking its supporters to sign up for text-based updates about the campaign. It's also using a service to randomly generate numbers for cellphone users to reach potential non-supporters.
Ontario Proud is also now trying to reach voters via text messages.
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Ballingall, the Ontario Proud founder, admits he was hesitant to do it because of the public perception that it is intrusive, but now expects it to be a pivotal part of his group's final get out of the vote effort.
"Phones are just so key, because everyone is addicted to them," said Ballingall. "People will be seeing us on Facebook, or getting texts from us."