There are times when it's necessary to call your legislator at the Capitol to make a last-minute appeal on an impending vote.
In that case, you'll be calling the Capitol switch board to leave a message. That number is 605-773-3251. You will likely not be connected directly with your legislator, so it's important to plan what you'll say ahead of time.
As with any other meeting or communication with your legislator, politeness is key. Remember to include the following things in your message:
- Who you're calling: You'll need to know which district you live in and the name of the legislator you're trying to contact.
- What you're calling about: State the bill number you're calling in reference to and what action you'd like your legislator to take (ie. "please vote no on HB XXXX!")
- Say thank you!
SAMPLE PHONE CALL:
STAFFER: Representative Anyguy’s office, how may I help you?
CALLER: Hi, my name is Jane Randomwoman from the representative’s district. My mother actually helped get Anyguy his votes at the Golden Acres Retirement Home during his first election, and I’ve been a long-time volunteer on his campaigns.
STAFFER: Thanks for your support. How can I help you today?
CALLER: Please tell the congressman to oppose the government-funded religion bill. I’ve talked to a number of voters in our community, and we all agree that we don’t want our tax money used to support religious activities.
STAFFER: I’ll definitely pass on the message.
CALLER: Please also let the congressman know that my synagogue members are worried that funds would be utilized to support activities that promote conversion to a particular faith.
STAFFER: Thanks for your concern and your call, Ms. Randomwoman. I’ll mention this to my supervisor.