What actually happens on Election Day from a party perspective is a mystery to most. So we decided to give you the inside scoop from someone who really knows what’s going on. H+K’s very own Shabnum Durrani is running Election Day in Kathleen Wynne’s local riding of Don Valley West. We got her perspective below.
When the government fell on its Budget on May 2, each political party’s election machinery kicked into high gear. This included everything from setting up war rooms to the deployment of political staff to local campaigns to making preparations for Election Day (yes, this starts right away!)
When it comes to Election Day preparation by the parties, the past five weeks have been spent identifying party support, or “the vote”, in each and every riding. The process of identifying the vote involves knocking on doors or calling people in the riding to see which way they are leaning towards voting on Election Day. The goal on Election Day is to make sure your party’s identified supporters actually come out and vote as planned.
The polls opened at 9am and will close at 9pm. Election Day for those of us running E-Day operations begins around 7:30am. It involves setting up and getting ready for volunteers to arrive. My goal on Election Day, at a minimum, will be to have enough volunteers to be able to scrutinteer the counting of the ballots at the end of the day in all the polls in the riding. This will mean preparing for over 200 volunteers at the end of the night with others coming and going throughout the day.
There are several major components to an effective Election Day operation: making sure that voters have been identified; making sure there are enough volunteers to remind these identified voters to vote; and finally making sure the volunteers have everything they need in order to be successful. This last component includes everything a volunteer could possibly need on Election Day: lunch and dinner, pens and paper, coffee, and rain ponchos if necessary (the meteorologists have been predicting rain!). A good Election Day operation will also take into account other factors that could impact getting voters out to the polls – the first game of the World Cup for instance begins today at 5pm – and will have strategies in place to work around these challenges.
So what will my day look like today? If I have done my job correctly, my day will be very boring. I should be sitting at the Don Valley West Liberal headquarters with nothing to do (fingers crossed!).
And one more thing: remember to vote!
Shabnum is an Account Director in Hill+Knowlton’s Toronto public affairs practice and has been volunteering on Premier Kathleen Wynne’s local campaign in the riding of Don Valley West. She is running Election Day operations in the riding today.