On September 15, 2018, the NGP MiniVan app set a single-day record with a total of 18,421 people logging on across the country. The new single-day record was part of a broader annual increase in which 2018 has been the biggest year on record for MiniVan usage. With six weeks remaining before the mid-terms, the canvassing app had had more than 218,000 user logins. This total far exceeded the 2016 presidential election year total of 153,000.
– Canvassing Is On the Rise
NGP VAN provides support for election canvassing including the Democratic Party voter information rolls. The MiniVan mobile app has added flexibility and increased control for canvassing projects; the MiniVan promotes efficiency in canvassing, and it allows field organizers to maximize their staff effort. Importantly, canvassing provides an opportunity for voter engagement that includes gathering feedback on voter’s concerns.
Canvassing brings the human touch to politics through face-to-face contact, and person to person communication by telephone or the Internet. NGP VAN has led the way to use technology to amplify the human touch; canvassers can record and submit notes from interactions including closing the communication loop by electronically recording and reporting voter response to campaign information.
NGP VAN is part of an emerging array of technology that connects to politics in essential ways. Twitter has become a favorite platform for digital communications and streaming video appeals to audiences that do not intake information in written forms as eagerly as in visual and audio presentations.
-Small Campaigns Benefit
In an article published in Forbes Magazine, a leading political advisor discussed the impact of technology on modern campaigns. Alicia Roth Weigel is a political strategist and campaign consultant working in policy advocacy and campaign management through her company Intrepid Strategy. As a national and regional political consultant, Wiegel described the impact of the NGP VAN technology on local elections. According to Ms. Wiegel, local campaigns can use technology to get canvassing advantages that formerly only occurred in large well-financed national campaigns.
– Technology is a Two-Way Street
Ms. Wiegel joins a growing number of political experts that support the notion that technology increases contacts between campaign and voters, and vice versa. Voters can also use technology to communicate with political leaders and also to follow their progress. Technology provides a feedback loop that lets voters hold political leaders to account. The NGP VAN MiniVan demonstrates the growing importance and impact of technology on local elections.