Tuesday, September 24, 2013


It is municipal election day for most of the province. I did notice a few exemptions in the Newfoundland and Labrador Gazette, but for the vast majority of candidates in the Province it is GOTV day.

The Get-out-the-vote operation is vital to any successful campaign, particularly when challenging an incumbent.  While support for municipal campaigns often crosses political party lines, many of the machines used by provincial and federal parties are working for one candidate, or another.

Winning in this era of apathy is about getting out winning over voters and than getting those voters to cast ballots on E-Day. Relying on the voter to select you and get out on their own is a nieve and a recipe for loosing.  

Campaigns have spent the summer identifying  likely voters through phone calls, community barbecues  attending debates, community meetings, social media and good old fashioned door-knocking, 

With the mail-in ballot, campaigns have been busy ensuring that they have as many votes in the bank as possible. They have been checking their lists, making phone calls and keeping tab.

Today the traditional campaign and the modern campaign merge. Candidates will be visiting the remaining polling stations, seniors homes and coffee shops. Campaigns will be checking lists, making calls, offering rides and relaying the numbers to their central war rooms.

The organized campaigns will be doing more than counting votes. They will be looking for trends. These trends will help decide what areas to target. For example if an area is showing strength they may put more effort into increasing the share of vote there. If an area is weaker than expected - more resources might be tasked to picking up the pace. 

In the five Ward and four At-Large Races, the GOTV strategy can be worth 5-10%.  In the 2009 election, Gerry Colbert picked up the last At-Large seat with 16,183 votes. In the 2005 election the last At-Large seat went to Tom Hann who picked up 11,946 votes. I anticipate that fight for those four seats will be tight.

With a few tight races a few extra votes could be decisive. 

If you have not cast your vote yet, the clock is ticking. 

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