Political Call Centers Still Humming, Less than a Day Before Elections
By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor
While the economy may still be lagging – or at least growing slowly – there is one area that has been humming with activity: political call centers. Today, with one day until the election, these campaign-based call centers are humming like beehives, making outbound calls and hoping to snag just a few more undecided voters, or hoping to bring someone to the polls that otherwise would not have gone.
Workers at the Republican Party campaign office in Kennewick, Washington are now counting down to Election Day by the hour. And they say every moment counts to reach those undecided voters in an election year when the races are so tight. Volunteers are doing some rapid fire calling with three phones to a caller and they still get answers from voters saying they're unsure.
Campaign workers say the neck and neck Washington state governor’s race is one of their prime concerns and the 2004 race between Dino Rossi and Governor Chris Gregoire serves as a good example for how each vote matters. That race was decided by just 129 votes out of three million that were cast.
"We just keep finding folks that, it shocks me, but they still say, 'I'm not sure yet. It's sitting right in from of me. I got my voters pamphlet out. I'm looking at websites. I'm reading the flyers that I've gotten and I just don't know yet. I'm still making a decision.' So we keep pushing them to vote for those folks as much as we can,” said a campaign worker.
Technology helps. Some call center technologies would seem to be built for political campaign calling (which is, after all, exempt from federal and state “do not call” regulations). Predictive, preview and auto-dialers are seeing a lot of action in this election, as are services that allow campaigns to make a lot of outbound pre-recorded message calls (so called “robocalls.”) Social media is also playing an even larger part in this presidential election than ever before.
Edited by Brooke Neuman