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Friday, October 19, 2012

Engaged Voters Are Actual Voters

Every political organizer and candidate understands that, on November 6, the key to a successful Election Day will be running a good "ground game" -- in other words, making sure that voters who are interested in a candidate actually show up at the polls to cast their votes.

The candidates who do the best job of engaging their voters will have the best ground games and the best chances to win. But with an American electorate that is proving discouraged and even apathetic, how can politicians produce the kind of enthusiasm, even passion, that engages their supporters enough to get them to execute one of their most important rights as U.S. citizens?

At Inward Strategic Consulting, we have identified the three biggest obstacles to engaging voters. In addition, we offer three options for politicians to consider to rise above the fray this campaign season and overcome them.

The Biggest Obstacles:

1. Detachment is one of the biggest afflictions demonstrated by voters. They don't feel there's anything they can do to change the course of the country with their one vote, so they don't bother.

2. Change fatigue is a second obstacle. Voters are tired of unkept promises and, so, unwilling to trust yet another politician who makes still more promises.

3. Disengagement is the third major problem. Voters get overwhelmed by all the issues and advertisements regarding an election and can't find where they fit in -- so they sit out the process and maybe don't vote at all.

Here are three ways that politicians -- and voters -- may be able to turn this situation around.

The Potential Solutions:

1. Be Aware: This is key for voters to become engaged. If politicians can enlist their supporters to lick envelopes, canvass their neighborhoods or write letters to news outlets on their behalf, their engagement is guaranteed.

2. Learn: Voters will vote if they invest heavily enough in the outcome. And in order to figure out how to vote, that means seeking out a variety of venues to become informed on candidates and their stands.

3. Take Action: For candidates, the most important lure to voters is to believe that the winners will take actions related to their campaign promises. They need to get specific and avoid using vague generalities in their appearances.

Freedom depends on voting. And voting depends on engagement of citizens as well as candidates.

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