Originally posted on CompleteCampaigns.com and written by Alex Gorman
At its core, voter contact isn’t complicated. You need to make phone calls. You need to send mail. You and your volunteers need to get out into the street and knock on doors. To do all this right, you need two things: good data and the tools to use it.
A lot of campaign get their data straight from the local registrar. This data is cheap, but it’s also unreliable. The local agencies don’t usually have the funds to regularly purge the voter rolls to make sure they are fresh and up-to-date. This means that you could be wasting time and money trying to get in touch with voters who no longer live in your district.
Fortunately, there are vendors who can provide you with data that has been cleaned up, removing the people who have moved and died and even adding additional information, like phone numbers and email addresses.
Once you’ve got the data you want, you need to be able to keep track of it. This is no job for a spreadsheet. You needed dedicated voter software. You need to be able to track responses, distinguish people who said they’d vote for you from those who said they wouldn’t. You need to be able to print out walk sheets so that your supporters can go door-to-door with exactly the information you want them to have.
There are advanced products out there, with advanced mapping tools and mobile applications, but the key elements you need are the ability to track your voters in a database, export that information in any format you want and be able to run walk and call sheets for your supporters.