TECHNOLOGY AND POLITICS
By Mark Anthony French
VoteBuilder, by NGP VAN, is one of the most important tools that the Pennsylvania Democratic Party provides us. VoteBuilder is an online database that helps us organize all of our campaigns and voter data for our area in a single location. This allows us, the local volunteers, to more effectively maintain and access this data on an ongoing basis.
One advantage of being the local branch of a large and sophisticated national organization is that resources are available to nourish our growth. The Democratic National Convention (DNC) provides the state, county and local committees with a variety of tools and training to assist us in performing the tasks needed to create and maintain an involved constituent community.
Of course, having data is useless if we do nothing with it. Data only becomes information when we invest the time to process, organize and apply it to a program of action. Those of us that worked on President Obama’s campaign saw how powerful information can be when used to target our efforts for recruiting, fundraising, registration and GOTV activities. Previously, everything was done on tattered and stained paper records on clipboards. It seemed to me that they were rarely up to date and never seemed to get carried over to the volunteers of the next election or organizing cycle. With modern systems like VoteBuilder, the data can become information the same day we volunteers interact with our constituents.
Volunteers, Committeepersons and Candidates use VoteBuilder to generate targeted reports for a variety of actions, such as Street Lists for canvassing and Phone Lists for calls to target groups. We can also generate reports to help us find “dark houses” where we have no information about new residents that need to be welcomed and registered. It also includes plenty of data to assist in targeting, like political party and voting history.
Interested to know more about serving our Lansdowne neighbors? Contact your Committeeperson or the Lansdowne Democratic Committee to see how you can become involved in building Lansdowne’s future.
Mark Anthony French is the Lansdowne Democratic Committeeman in the 7th Precinct and his serving as the Committee’s database coordinator.