By Stan Boyd
I have just returned from four days of voter canvassing in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District on behalf of the Jon Ossoff campaign. This is a special election to fill the Congressional seat of Tom Price, #45’s current Secretary of Health and Human Services. I recommend Jon Ossoff’s profile on the campaign web site for reader’s consideration. He running against Republican Karen Handel. Ossoff is a Democrat and there is a clear and opposing distinction between the two candidates. Ossoff is the distinct and clear progressive choice.
I have not canvassed in an election for many years. I reported to the Rosswell campaign office in north Atlanta outside the perimeter highway. These headquarters were staffed by very tech-savvy, personable and dedicated young people, most of them under 25 and some likely under 20. They were the nerve center and coordinated the canvassing outreach. The effort is extremely competent and well organized.
When a volunteer arrives at one of the campaign headquarters, a political canvassing app, “MiniVan” is uploaded onto the volunteers’ smartphone or, in my case, iPad. The volunteer is then given a packet for an assigned territory and list of targeted addresses of potential voters in that territory. Each packet has the campaign literature to be presented to the listed potential voter or left at the targeted address if no one is accessible. The packet is number coded. That number is keyed into the MiniVan app on the device. Once done, the targeted addresses come up. Clicking on an address brings up the potential voter(s)’ name, a locator map, the voter(s)’ name, and considerable detail, history of prior contacts phone numbers, email addresses age, gender…
The addresses are aggregated by proximity for efficient access. There is a script and protocol to follow. After each contact, the results of the contact are entered into the app. Periodically the entered experience is synched to the data base for updating.
On a personal experience note, the challenge negotiating labyrinthian highways in dense traffic at, for me, high speeds. I was often lost, pulling into parking lots and studying Google Maps, which were not totally reliable.
The people that I called on were generally courteous, and encouraging. The lists are pre-screened for an indication of probable support. The first priority on contact is to urge early voting.
The campaign had arranged for me to stay at the home of an Ossoff volunteer. My host was very gracious and generous with support and a nice meal at the end of my day.
I made friends that I hope to stay in touch with. The experience, apart from being intimidated by traffic and being frequently confused about direction, was very rewarding.
Election day is June 20th. There’s still time to volunteer for canvassing. I have volunteered to phone bank on the days remaining to the election. Here is the link to join into the phone bank:
Thanks a ton for reaching out, we’re looking forward to you setting up phone bank parties for Team Ossoff!