THUNDER BAY – It is called “Get out the vote” or GOTV. Who wins seats in Ontario’s provincial election may come down to just which campaign teams across the province in each riding have the best ground games to make sure their identified voters get out to the polls.
The process is a fairly complex one from the outside, and is computerized in most cases. Through the campaign and before the political parties seek to establish which voters in their riding are their supporters. It can come from lists of party members, lists of people who have made donations to the party, and from data gathered during the campaign.
The process is one of getting all of the people who are supporting a candidate out to the polls. Often it is also done by getting as many people to vote in the advance polls as possible, the so-called hardcore supporters who are unlikely to change their mind during the campaign. That allows the campaign team’s GOTV effort to ensure on election day that as many people as possible get to the polls.
Increasingly too, social media, Twitter and Facebook are being used by campaigns as a means of reaching out to voters.
Today, while candidates and party leaders have been out drumming up last minute support, the real battle has been happening behind the scenes with each team working hard to get out their voters.
In a tight campaign, that effort will likely be the difference between winning and losing once the polls close and the votes are being counted.
Tonight’s NNL Election Night Coverage is fueled by Eat Local Pizza and Pastry.