Dr. Politics: Ground Game and the Final 72 Hours
By Dwight Patel, Candidate for State Senate, District 20
With the advent of early voting over the past few years, Democrats have been able to create more electoral mischief at the ballot box and the ground game for Election Day has changed. Before early voting, the ground game had only two parts: Absentee Ballot Program and Election Day.
Early voting in Maryland starts this week. What to do . . . First things first: don’t drive yourself crazy during the next 11 days of voting. If you are running for a county wide or statewide seat, you have a lot of ground to cover before Election Day.
The prime time for early voting is on weekends: lunch time between 11 am – 2 pm, and evenings from 3:30 pm to 8 pm. Make sure you have coverage at the polls during those hours. The good news is that this is the general election, and you have no primaries. Therefore, your local GOP is there to help you cover the polls.
In fact, your local GOP should be taking names and scheduling volunteers to cover the polls for you. The MCGOP has also printed sample ballots for handouts to be given at the polls for early election voting and Election Day. In addition, the MCGOP has taken part with the State Party on an aggressive absentee ballot chase program. All of this doesn’t mean that you as a candidate should shirk your responsibilities for finding poll workers for early voting. Things work best when candidates and the party work together.
Lead up to Election Day and Early Voting
This week, early voting opens in Maryland. I highly recommend that you spend some time before polls open on October 25, 2018 at the busiest METRO stations (mass transit). The busiest ones in Montgomery County are Bethesda, Medical Center, Glenmont, Grosvenor, Rockville, Shady Grove, Silver Spring and Wheaton (Note: Use the buddy system for Wheaton, since it isn’t the friendliest place for Republicans or most people). Take time to hand out your literature as people are getting the trains in the morning to work. Also, try to spend some afternoon time at the METRO and maybe even do a sign wave.
Election Day Prep
Election Day is a big ordeal and details matter. First, make sure your volunteers have instructions on what to do when they see fraudulent activities taking place at the polls by Democrats. Keep an eye open for buses coming and unloading masses of people to vote. Second, tell your volunteers not to engage any belligerent voter or Democrat poll worker. If they feel threatened by a belligerent voter or Democrat poll worker, call 911 immediately.
Make sure you have your high priority polls covered. Work with the party and other campaigns to maximize coverage. There’s no point in having your volunteers hand out the exact same lit as you are. You really don’t need any more than two poll workers at high volume poll sites, and you only need one person at a polling place that isn’t as busy. Focus on the polls where we have higher Republican turnout and swing precincts.
Again, I can’t stress enough that you should work with your local Republican Party to make sure maximum coverage is achieved on Election Day.
- Post-Election Party Information: There will be two events, one which the governor will host at the Westin Hotel in Annapolis. The Montgomery County GOP will also have an event at Lahinch, 7747 Tuckerman Ln, Potomac, MD 20854 from 8:00 pm to closing in Montgomery County.