Canvassing voters in the electronic age

Bizcor sent me this idea for a post (Thank you):

“Obama has an app for iPhone that identifies the registered Democrats at the phones location.

That reminded me of the several political campaigns I’ve been involved in.  In the old days, a campaign would buy voter lists, identifying voters by party affiliation, address and phone number.  It could then use these to plan its door-to-door and phone campaigning.    The Obama app sounds like an updated, electronic age version of the same lists.  If he’s smart, Romney will have the same app.  In fact, I suppose all campaigns, right down to the local level, will soon have them.  What, if any, significance do you see in such instant access?

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  • Mike Devx

    IF the numbers I’ve been seeing are right, the younger generations are abandoning that creaky old geezer technology – that Web browser on that old computer – for the mobile phone Web applications.  They just don’t sit down at the computer very often anymore.  Instead, they flip or slide open their mobile phone and start touching or keying.

    We know how people used to get tied to their favorite news station and news anchor.  It was Walter Cronkite or no one.  Maybe it became CNN, or no one.  While driving, or for background, if it wasn’t the soft jazz station, it was NPR – or no one.  Brand loyalty, and a captive audience that got YOUR presentation of the news of the day.  The TV news, or NPR, then controlled your access to information, and you got only the information they wanted you to hear.

    To be fair, how many conservatives only get *their* news from Rush-bo?

    The same thing will happen with mobile apps, and the owner’s favorite phone apps.  But modern mobile phones are geo-located to within, what, a hundred feet?  Less?  Mobile phone apps can tailor content and deliver it to you based on precisely where you are, and based on your history of interaction.  The possibilities are startling.  Businesses can deliver you a very nice coupon deal as you’re driving up close by their business “Stop NOW and save 30% on…”  For political organizations, tie them to your app and deliver them just-in-time, at-that-spot information.  You might see “brand loyalty” to that particular app, or to a small set of such tailored apps, of an intensity you haven’t seen before.

  • JKB

    Fewer and fewer people will identify themselves by party or inclination to avoid being harassed by some idiot candidate and one of these lists.  

    There is a dark side to this identifying.  Good for the idiot candidate bad for the citizen who would rather not be targeted for good or bad intentions.  In the past, there was enough baggage to make revealing yourself not so risky but now, instantaneous harassment.   


    An app for a portable “telescreen” – how Orwellian. Does the app include your own personal drone to track you as well?

    CREEPY. Damn and downright creepy.  

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