MiniVAN is a smartphone app that allows users to easily canvass voters and enter data in real time into VAN. This article is a guide to how to get and use MiniVAN. Feel free to use this article as a basis for training volunteers, or you can give them the link to this page. It is publically available for volunteers.
First, if you do not yet have the MiniVAN app, go to the App Store or Google Play Store, and search for "MiniVAN Touch." The app icon is shown here. Install the app on your device.
If you have an ActionID account for VAN, click "Log In With ActionID" and enter your login information (the same login as VAN)
If you do not have an ActionID, click "Create an ActionID" and follow the instructions to create an account.
Once logged in, enter this list number provided by your volunteer leader. If they gave you a list on paper, the list number can be found in the upper-right hand corner of the page. Then click Download List.
After entering your list, you will see the addresses of homes you need to canvass. They are organized by Street Name in alphabetical order.
To see who is in the household and enter data, simply click any household to open its details.
Alternatively, you can view the homes you need to canvass on a map. To view this, click the three bars in the upper -left corner of your screen. This will open the menu.
From here, click Map to see your houses as a map.
Click on a pin to see the exact address, and click again to see the contact details.
**Note: Be careful with map view. While VAN does its best, the geotagging is not always accurate. Also, zooming in too closely to the map may cut out some of the house pins. Zoom out on occasion to make sure you have not missed any houses on your route.
When you find the right house, and before approaching the door, open the house details to see who you should be speaking with. There may be more than one record per household.
Once you've identified who you are asking for, click their name to see the survey questions for that individual. Campaigns should train volunteers on scripts and best practices.
For each survey question in the script, mark the appropriate response. Remember only to mark a response for the person you are speaking with, not for their spouse, parent, etc.
If you were not able to reach the contact, press the red button at the top indicating they were not able to be reached. Then mark the appropriate response below.
Here is a quick guide to the terminology of these results:
- Not Home - The contact was not home, or was busy and could not speak with you when you came to the door.
- Refused - The contact told you they are not interested or were otherwise hostile, and they do not want to be canvassed by our campaign
- Inaccessible - You cannot reach the door because of a locked outer door or fence, construction, or other physical barrier to entry.
- Moved - The contact no longer lives at this address.
- Language Barrier - The contact speaks a language you do speak or understand yourself.
Make sure to complete either the script or the no contact field for each person in the household before moving to the next house.
To see your progress in completing your list, go to the sidebar and click List Details. There you will see a bar with what percent you are through your list, as well as a count of your results.
When you are done with your list, be sure to sync your results. In the sidebar, click sync. You'll also see a cloud with an arrow in the upper-right hand corner while canvassing. You can use this to sync periodically throughout your canvass. That said, at the end, make sure you sync one more time.
If you have another list to canvass, you can click download a new list in the sidebar. Make sure that you are done and have synced your current list before moving onto a new list. Once you move to a new list, you cannot return to the previous list.