To Get Out The Vote, The MCDP Must Develop A Long-Term Strategy And Plan

Interesting exchange on Facebook with Kurt Hatcher as a response to my post — Why Do Strong Democratic Precincts Have Absurdly Weak Voter Turnout? The MCDP Central Committee Should Seek Answers. The exchange was useful in clarifying a definition of GOTV not simply as the activity of the last weeks before election, but rather the sum of an overall strategy/plan. Once again I’m sounding the theme that the problem is in the system — not in the individuals in the system. We need to look objectively at what we are doing, we need to get a clear grasp of what the current system looks like. This is from my Facebook post:

My point is that the low voter turnout in dominant Democratic precincts is a tragedy. It’s a huge problem and it is a problem that the Central Committee should address. Kurt Hatcher’s view is, “We ARE doing the best possible, at the local level, with the resources and time we have available to us.” If this is true, then the only solution to improving turnout is to generate more resources and time to apply to the problem. But there is a diminishing return on resources allocated if this simply means knocking on the same door five more times or sending more and more literature to the same address.

No doubt, GOTV needs a big increase in time and resources. The question is: How can we spend time and resources more creatively and effectively. These short-term campaign centered efforts can only do so much. What is needed is a long term view, a long term strategy. It is unlikely that the solution to the problem simply is doing more of the same with greater enthusiasm and resources.

I agree with Kurt when he says, “I see no point in railing against an organization with very little resources and staff availability for their short-comings, when instead we could work together on solutions.” As elected leaders in the MCDP, we need to be collegial. We are the ones responsible. We are the organization, we need to accept responsibility. Poor voter turnout in strong Democratic precincts is a huge problem. This comes from systemic failure. Individuals in a system can be working hard and doing their very best, yet the system fails. Poor voter turnout in dominant Democratic precincts is a huge problem that the Central Committee should investigate. A good place to start working together to find solutions is taking a close look at the current GOTV efforts. The Central Committee needs to hear from Kurt and from everyone else who has information and insight to contribute. We need to take a fresh look.


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