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Blue Blogging Soapbox
...rambling rants, thoughts and musings on mostly political topics - from your late night blogger.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Earned Media - ya gotta love it 
(en francais)

Especially for your GOTV effort!
Early polls could be key(subscription required)

Anne Jarvis, Windsor Star
Published: Friday, January 13, 2006

Supporters of Conservative candidate Rick Fuschi in Windsor-Tecumseh will be plied with coffee today and then practically escorted to nearby polling stations to vote.

It's called getting out the vote, and it will escalate significantly today, the first of three days of advance polls in the federal election.

"It is crucial for a close election to have an effective, efficient advance vote team, and any campaign worth it has one," said one former candidate and party insider.

The number of party volunteers shuttling voters to the polls today will be a sign of the strength of their campaigns, he said.

Fuschi's campaign has scheduled four "coffee hours" across the riding to draw supporters. The candidate will show up for half an hour, talk to people and then leave for the next one. Volunteers will then offer to help voters get to their polling stations.

It's a strategy that has been employed throughout Fuschi's campaign to get supporters to vote early by special ballot. Across the riding, the campaign hosts town hall meetings for supporters during the week and pancake breakfasts for them on weekends.

All the events are staged near where people can vote.

"We feed them and then walk them, push them, do what we can to get them to the polling station," said campaign manager Nick Kouvalis.

Like most campaigns, they offer supporters directions to polling stations, rides and even babysitting, whatever it takes.

They have been encouraging people to vote early by special ballot since the beginning of the campaign.

"If you have x amount of identified supporters, you can't get them all out the same day, said Kouvalis.

"You only have so many people and so much time on election day."

Kouvalis knows because he was the get-out-the-vote person for Essex MP Jeff Watson in the last election. Watson won 659 votes more than Liberal incumbent Susan Whelan in the special ballots and advance polls, including the small number of military and foreign service ballots, all cast before election day. Watson won the election by only 829 votes.

Conservative support began to falter the last 10 days of the campaign in the last election, and the party that had talked of forming the government ended up losing.

"So the extra 600 votes he (Watson) had from the advance poll, had 400 of them changed their minds on election day, Susan Whelan would have been MP," said Kouvalis.
© The Windsor Star 2006

Paul Synnott at 3:00 PM    | en francais | Go to Top|


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