election, when the result is known and you’ve either celebrated
your success or drowned your failure, you should be left with some useful
information which will help you next time.
results, even if only partially completed, will have identified some
of your supporters. The number teller returns from the polling station
will tell you who voted, so next time you can canvass somewhere you
missed this time and identify more of your supporters. It's simple isn’t
it, well actually no.
a significant number of people tell the canvassers of every party that
they will vote for their candidate so your canvass returns are never
going to be 100% accurate. Secondly, some people who swear blind that
they will vote for you never actually vote at all, but you may have
noticed this from the outstanding names on the knock-up sheets at the
end of the day. Most significantly, throughout this process mistakes
important piece of information that you need to be able to confirm is
who actually voted in the election. Your tellers may not have noted
every number due to several people arriving at once; some people may
have refused to say or not have had their polling card or not have noted
the number given by the polling clerk.
there is a means to verify who has actually voted. When a voter asks
for a ballot paper at the polling station the polling clerk scores their
name off a copy of the electoral register. This is so that no-one can
vote more than once. This register, known as the ‘Marked Register’
is kept by the Electoral Registration Office of your local authority
and if approached after the election will supply a copy to you. Some
authorities charge for this, some don’t. Some charge a significant
fee, some only photocopying costs.
obtain a copy of the Marked Register you should go back to your knock-up
sheets as they were at the start of Election Day, or if using a computerised
system remove the records of votes cast in the election and go through
the process of identifying your promised voters who voted all over again,
just like you did on Election Day, except this time you will have all
the details at the start of your process and it will take a fraction
of the time.
produce a definitive record of who voted and from that, together with
your canvass returns, a good but not perfect picture of who voted for
this information is important is that over the course of several elections
you can trace who votes every time without fail and who never votes.
Once this data is analysed by road, or block of flats you will soon
realise that there may be areas that are frankly not worth canvassing
next time because so few electors from there vote whereas another nearby
area has regular high turnouts and effort spent there will be more likely
to increase your vote. It sounds harsh but if you have limited resources
you can't afford to be charitable.
to bear in mind that by the time you do this the actual result will
be known so you will know how many people actually voted for you. This
exercise will show whether your real vote was higher or lower than your
promised vote. If higher then you haven’t identified all your
supporters and next time you might want to expand the scope of your
canvassing. If lower then you may need to knock-up more and improve
Continue to Election Expenses....