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View Diary: Proposition 8 postmortem - from a senior volunteer (208 comments)

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  •  A criticism of you criticism... (0+ / 0-)

    You should have had a plan to get people to early against 8, that seems like a big failing you didn't mention.

    Stationing people at polling places has multiple proposes, and it is important.  It's the last minuet you can talk to a voter before they vote, so it's critical to contact them at that point.

    It's not time efficient to walk between supporters houses in areas where there aren't enough supporters. Many supports won't be home, so your contact rate would be ridiculously low for the amount of manpower you have to put in for a door-to-door GOTV effort in non-supportive areas.  Someone probably did the math on that, and decided it wasn't worth it.

    The Youtube war is not the election, nor is myspace or facebook.  No one cares who has more facebook views.  Focusing on that is senseless and a waste of time that could be devoted to better purposes.

    "Peace cannot be kept by force, it can only be kept by understanding." ~Albert Einstein

    by Futuristic Dreamer on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 11:50:58 AM PST

    •  GOTV is better for areas w/ high absentee voters. (2+ / 0-)

      Stationing people does have some purpose, but that in this case it was a total waste of resources.

      I was also a volunteer on the campaign in Santa Clara County, and I will say for a fact that GOTV would have been a much better allocation of our resources. In SC county, there was an average of maybe 4 voters coming by per hour in most locations, many of whom had a signed and sealed ballot they were only planning to drop off. It might have been worth going to high traffic sites, but hundreds of volunteers mostly wound up standing around, holding up No on 8 signs.

      Mainly, I just stood around, getting cussed at by Yes on 8 people. And a couple of them were about to vote No only to find out that they meant to vote Yes, so my presence was actually counteractive. We should have had GOTV to fall back on once we knew our strategy was bad. A big failure in this campaign was our inability to adapt and change our strategy on-the-ground for what was best for that location.

      •  Their is no way to change strategy on E-day, just (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Newsie8200, FishBiscuit

        live and learn.  I'm sure someone there knew your strategy was bad, if you'd asked them. That was the real failure, not learning from previous experience and statistics.

        Talking to non-supporters has the flaw of encouraging them to vote and not your way. Standing at polling places in non-supportive areas carries that risk.

        A well run campaign does both GOTV and stations people outside polling places.  Since you had early voting you should have been doing GOTV for the month ahead of time, there was nothing you could do (that wasn't well pre-planned) half way through election day. By the time you gotten into the rhythm of a new strategy, the election would have been over.

        "Peace cannot be kept by force, it can only be kept by understanding." ~Albert Einstein

        by Futuristic Dreamer on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 01:07:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  campaign incoming phone numbers SUCKED (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Predictor, JesseCW
        When you called the campaign number in Northern CA, it went to an AT&T voicemailbox.

        Worse yet, when you called the campaign number in Southern CA, it went to a cellphone voicemailbox with the expected truly shitty cellphone sound quality, burble-burbles and mumble-mumbles and omitted syllables included:  "Hiblbl, thrs is Noblbl on Eightblbl, pblblease leave a mrsblbge after the tone...."

        Both of those messages informed callers that the campaign would return their call between 10AM and 5PM:  when people are at work!  

        Repeated attempts to call the campaign during business hours produced the same result:  no one there.  

        Many people can't receive personal phone calls at work.  Did that ever occur to the genius who came up with the return call policy?

        Many people live in households where the phone may be answered by a Yes-on-8er who can cause trouble in some way for the No-on-8er.  For example college kids living with rightie-winger parents, or people whose spouses disapprove, or homophobic housemates, or whatever.  

        What the flying f--- were they thinking of?  

        What they needed to do was have a phone that could be answered LIVE during hours that overlapped work and nonwork hours.  Live answering also gets you a lot of fence-sitters who you can speak with at that moment but might not be interested or receptive at some other moment.  

        Getting live answering would have been as simple as having an office number that could be call-forwarded to different volunteers at different times of day: one staff member would be responsible for changing the call forwarding setting accordingly, which is as simple on a landling as dialing * 72 followed by the volunteer's number and then getting a live answer at the other end.  

        The cost of this would have been minimal, especially compared to the cost of hiring big consulting firms and paying for friggin' focus groups.  

        So I have to ask, who came up with the idiotic idea of not having live people answering the phones, not having reliable office hours for incoming calls, and using crappy-sounding voicemail?

        BTW, telephone systems engineer here, 25 years in the field, and ready to volunteer to set up good communications for future campaigns.  

    •  It's not the war (0+ / 0-)

      It's the Recruitment Speeches.

      Today, people expect to be able to google "Proposition 8" on Friday night and five minutes later know what they can go do as a volunteer on Saturday Morning.

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