Nuts & Bolts: Inside a Democratic campaign: Voting as an inclusionary practice

Nuts & Bolts: Inside a Democratic campaign: Voting as an inclusionary practice

Welcome back to the weekly campaign Nuts & Bolts Guide to small campaigns. Every week I try to tackle issues I’ve been asked about. With the help of other campaign workers and notes, we address how to improve and build better campaigns, or explain issues that impact our party.

If you’ve been following our front page, you have seen how many Republicans still want to buy the big lie that Donald Trump somehow prevailed, and that by disqualifying ballots, they will get a result. In order to accomplish this goal, they’re willing to tear America apart. This has me looking back a bit in prior elections, as the photo above shows, to 2000, when Florida middle school students asked about uncounted ballots—a far different cry than Republicans currently saying we should be throwing out ballots instead. With 2022 coming fast and Republicans having control of many state legislatures, the pressure is on us to do whatever we can to expand voting rights. Sometimes that means you get it done on the federal level. Sometimes in a court of law, sometimes in a state house or secretary of state office. The most direct method to undermining these efforts mean building a campaign management plan to win—assuming you don’t get help from D.C. or anywhere else.

The guidelines for good management

The most effective way to manage anything, whether it’s your business or a campaign, is to develop a strategy around how to get the most done quickly and accurately. This chart, which Harvard Business Review refers to as a “hack,” is actually something many of us have used for a very long time. How do you get the most out of your campaign and staff? You go through this chart several times, like filtering sand through a sieve. Let’s say you have six tasks. Two are important, the other four less so. By running all of them through this graph you can determine, one through six, which is your most important, meaning you should do it now, and which comes second, third, and so on. If you can sieve your required tasks to come up with a way to make sure you’re getting things done, you feel more productive at the end of every day because things actually happened.

This also helps prevent you from getting stuck on tasks that are less important. Remember, as I said above: The most important task in any election is getting your voters to vote for you and have their ballots cast and counted. 

You have your list. Now what can you do?

For some who read Daily Kos, you may be familiar with Six Sigma’s “DMAIC” model—Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. This model is built on the idea that assessments can help you determine how you’re deploying your resources. How in the world does this apply to voting and turning out your votes? This is when you need help from the resources around you, especially prior campaigns, county, and state Democratic parties. Look back at the efforts made by prior campaigns—how they spent money, how they raised money, and how effective those strategies were. If you look back over several campaigns, you can define what you need to do and measure expected baseline results. Once you’ve done that, analyze where you have the best opportunity to enhance the practices of the past and improve upon them—that is, excite more voters and turn them out to the polls. Put it into your campaign responsibilities and expectations, and try to make sure you get what you expect. 

By looking back at the prior campaigns and getting data from your county and state parties, you should be able to look at ways you can improve and run those back through the priority model. Are you giving too much priority to something an earlier campaign tried and was not successful in doing? For example, let’s say you believe strongly that having a billboard should be a priority for your campaign. You have data from the prior three campaigns; of the three, one did have a billboard and the performance in that campaign was roughly the same as the other two without a billboard. The assessment you might make is that it seems like a “want” more than a “need,” and you can move it further down the priority list.

Finding ways to blend solid management of money and resources can focus you on the thing you need most: votes.

Republicans will watch you like a hawk

Republicans didn’t spend all their time passing anti-voter laws to just hope the law works. No, Republicans will be looking at every word you say and every action your campaign takes. They want to conflate these things into a conspiracy that you’re trying to cheat by, well, actually getting people to vote.

Don’t let that get into your head. You can’t control what the other side does. Kansas made helping voters an actual crime:

HB 2183 attempts to place barriers to voting by mail by restricting assisting a voter by delivering an advance ballot to the election office. Such assistance would be restricted to 10 voters. Deliver the 11th one and you’ve committed a class B misdemeanor.

They’ve done so with the requirement of signature matching and more—a real issue for those with disabilities, or, frankly, even someone like me who finds that my signature can change enough day to day based on how much rest I have and my mood. Republicans are looking for, and planning for, every way possible to challenge votes in 2022 and have set up means to make challenging them more successful.

Frankly—and this is my personal opinion only—as Republican voters get older, I don’t know how Republicans see this working if someone just started challenging the signatures of all elderly voters, or how they plan to “catch” someone turning in an 11th-hour ballot, as an example in Kansas. No, I’m not going to advocate that anyone break the law. I am going to say that it would be an interesting court case to see the argument that someone should be fined and face jail time for helping disabled people vote.

With Republicans making the rules, the easiest way to avoid the pitfalls will be to look at the laws and governance in your own community and find ways to work within it to succeed. Sometimes that may mean getting more people to vote in person, early or otherwise, by whatever means. (Sorry red states.) In other cases, it may mean working on more advanced balloting. 

In all cases, the priority when sifting through each model should always end in the same result: that your top tasks get completed in an order that gives the campaign around you delegated opportunities to grow and stay focused on how to win.

From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.

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