How to Win an Election before Election Day

In the last 6 months I've become more and more aware of how the Republicans have slipped one passed us for 15-20 years in broad daylight. While we gave the same topic lipservice, Absentee Ballots, they got dead serious and have kicked our ass in more than one spot with their efforts.

I wrote an article yesterday with specific stats at Political Dogfight with an advocacy ending about the real meaning of Absentee Ballots.

Today, with even more startling information, I recorded a Flash audio (no download) and mp3 podcast that is onsite at Political Dogfight that could show a lot of people the real meaning of Absentee Ballots and some ways to use them that aren't being done today.

It's a long article and a nearly 20 min audio. I'm not going to repeat the entire concept here at MyDD or anywhere else. I hope that years of blogging and staffing on campaigns has bought me enough street cred that you, or at least some of you, will go, read, then listen and see if there is new information for you and your goals.

Believe me, the Republicans figured this out 15-20 years ago. But if we get busy we can amaze the hell out of them. Please take the time to hear how you might envision:

How to Win the Turnout Race before Election Day

Which Voter is More Valuable

How to Occasionally Win the Election Before Election Day.

I'm into Practical Politics and this is Practical Politics at it's best.

Tags: 2006, Absentee Ballots, Congressional, Most Valuable Voter (all tags)

Comments

9 Comments

Re: How to Win an Election before Election Day

The fact of the request fo the Absentee Ballot is the evidence of committment from all data. Growing from 4% of the vote decades ago to as much as 77% of the special election in CA State Senate Distict 35, the Absentee Ballot has no downside.

Listen to the concept of approaching the non-voting Democrat with the 'lazy man's way to vote' and you'll pick up a ton of votes that otherwise won't go to the polls for one reason or another but self-indentify as Democrats.

There's a lot of data referenced in the post and audio.

by BigDog 2006-04-13 03:40PM | 0 recs
Re: How to Win an Election before Election Day

Use of absentee ballots has been an issue I've tried to promote in posts recently, especially since observing its effect in the Hackett-Schmidt special election last summer, (negative for Hackett).  The young people running the operation seemed to be completely oblivious to its impact on races, demonstrating their inexperience. I believe the outcome of the Hackett-Schmidt race could have been different if absentee voting had been actively encouraged. (Note: Hackett himself was also politically inexperienced). Since last summer Ohio law has been changed to allow all voters to request absentee ballots, not just those with certain qualifications (age, election officials, out-of-town, etc).  These votes are like money in the bank; they also free up these voters to be available on election day, if they wish to work at the polls, either inside or out.  Poor weather no longer is an issue, and the voter can mark the ballot without being hurried, at any hour convenient to oneself.  Transportation to the polls, illness, work hours, long lines at the polls or other diversions are no longer reasons for not voting.  A local Dem. candidate in Hamilton Co. OH is sending applications for absentee ballots with his campaign literature, a very smart move.

by susie 2006-04-13 09:24PM | 0 recs
Re: How to Win an Election before Election Day

The young people running the operation seemed to be completely oblivious to its impact on races, demonstrating their inexperience.

I think this is quite unfair.  Those "young people" made incredible things happen in that district despite being severely limited by their resources until very late in the campaign.  They were neither oblivous or inexperienced.  

Until you work 20 hours or more a day on a campaign for weeks on end to make a campaign a success I don't think it is possible to appreciate what staffers have to deal with.  Putting together a comprehansive field plan that can encompass this sort of thing is something that takes time and money.  There is a reality to face on campaigns - like 4 p.m. on ELECTION DAY when, when the polls close in just a few hours, the majority of voters are arriving home from work and likely haven't voted, and your volunteers don't think there is any value on continuing to go door-to-door.  Yes, this happens, and all to often.

Also, re: absentee ballots in general, there are a lot of places where absentee ballots are very hard to get.  It varies state by state.  However, when they can be collected early, it is definitely votes in "the bank" and a good field plan works to include this process.

by Tracy Joan 2006-04-13 10:24PM | 0 recs
Re: How to Win an Election before Election Day

Tracy Joan:

I need to hear from you as I don't have your address. Would you email me here. Been looking for you.

BTW: I'll leave the Hackett subject alone because if you were that close you likely know what happened next.

Please be in touch.

by BigDog 2006-04-14 10:22AM | 0 recs
Re: How to Win an Election before Election Day

Yes, I expected the comment in paragraph 1 of the reply to mine.  I observed volunteers at 4p.m. election day wandering through the streets of a voter-rich area, engaging in fruitless discourse with some re the merits of Rep./Dem. while ignoring an apartment complex with who knows how many potential voters.  BigDog offers a practical way of adding to Dem. totals and Dems, young & old, had best acknowledge that they haven't had all the answers.  No need for unnecessary personal sensitivity on these subjects.

by susie 2006-04-14 08:35AM | 0 recs
Re: How to Win an Election before Election Day

There is one helluva lot more to tell about everything...but that's for a book that will be written someday.

The point isn't to 'convert' but get out the Dem's that don't vote...then think about conversion.

============== ===
Every campaign has stories. It comes with the turf.

I had one 'communication's professional, a 'press person"' run into a studio where we were filming a 20 second spot waving a new script....saying, and I quote, "This will work I think. It's only nine lines!"

She had never timed it out. The Director blanched. I asked politely if I could take a swing at it. Rewrote it slightly. (she had basically a good idea..just didn't know how to write.)

And then proceeded to time it at three different delivery speeds, being very familiar with the candidate, and was able to give back to her and the Director a timed script with X seconds per delivery speed.

Stories come from every campaign.

by BigDog 2006-04-14 10:31AM | 0 recs
Re: How to Win an Election before Election Day

God almighty...you don't want to win. Another so called activist that would rather have a Republican in office.

Success is the name of the Game.

Prime Directive: First, Get Elected!

You don't like wants been done to our Country? use every legitmate tool at your disposal and WIN!

Sorry....this is simply idiotic.

Like so many inexperienced folks...somehow 'principle' that word that means absolutely something different to each person being a good reason to leave the Republicans in power.

Because if you don't use all your tools....that's exactly what is likely to happen. They use a FULL toolchest.

by BigDog 2006-04-14 10:18AM | 0 recs
Re: How to Win an Election before Election Day

ULTIMATELY....that should have been automatic. Get Votes! That's the name of the game.

Thanks for signing on.

by BigDog 2006-04-14 03:54PM | 0 recs
Re: How to Win an Election before Election Day

The consequences of my action are to bring more people into the politicl arena.

You apparently aren't aware that Oregon as gone to 100% mail-in voting! It's jammed their participation numbers through the roof. Now the job of every campaign is make certain everyone's registered.

'Turnout' from registered voters in 2004 was slightly over 90%! It's the only place in America that came that close.

It works. And the more mail-in's we create the better our chances of having Democrats back in the House and Senate.

by BigDog 2006-04-15 11:38AM | 0 recs

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