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Here's a canvassing method that has proven successful and which could help now, with all the canvasses on the streets –notably paid ones. To help make sure the houses really get hit, having canvassers write each house’s color helps. Just jotting it on the sheet by the voter’s name is all it takes. It’s a good deterrent for cheating, which, unfortunately, happens. Supervisors don’t need to worry much about driving by houses to check a sample, since canvassers know that cheating would be so obvious. And it's preferable to having senior staff call voters (yet again) to check that a canvasser came. (Recipe for a: ‘Now I’m not only not voting for you people, I’m voting Republican.')

Canvassing data is too important ...and paid canvasses attract all kinds of folks. And with the imperative on voter contacts, it’s hard to turn down most of those who can roll with short-term, odd-hours, tired feet, getting yelled at, dog-provoking work. Also, adding the extra check can help preempt nightmare stories. (My old office once had the teenage son of a local Dem committeeman and his friends go right to a liquor store and the alley beside it, until they decided to return to smash headlights in our lot --something I discovered pulling in with a national reporter and her crew, who were in town to film our canvasses...)

Anything to makes canvasses work and to get local people talking issues with one another... (there's definitely no lack of slick ads and robocalls--).

Originally posted to Craig Kaufman on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 05:57 PM PDT.

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