I am not particularly attached to the Democratic Party. Until 2017 I wasn’t registered as a Democrat. (And I only registered as one because the KDP, reasonably, wouldn’t let me help with their data otherwise.) My personal politics are more green/socialist. I just saw the Democratic party as the group best positioned to swing state races in 2018 and defeat 45 in 2020.
So in 2017 I reached out to my state and county parties and started cold-calling people. Would they meet me for coffee and talk about politics and technology? Yes they would!
I asked everyone three questions:
- could technology have changed the outcome of the 2016 election?
- if yes, what could someone like me do to help for 2018 and 2020?
- who else should I talk to?
I’m very grateful for everyone who explained how precincts work, how county and state parties work, how the voter file works, how campaigns work, how campaign technology works (and doesn’t work). I spent several months meeting all sorts of Democrats, in Kansas and elsewhere (thanks to the wonders of the internet) and listening to their answers to my three questions. It turns out I knew very little about how elections work. Everything else I have been doing since then stems from something I discovered while talking to the Democrats that year who were so generous with their time and knowledge.