Traveling by foot and overcoming perilous unknowns—such as barking dogs—to gain votes may be one of the oldest methods in campaigning, and despite advances in technology, door-to-door campaigning remains highly effective and popular today.
“Face-to-face contact with a voter is very important,” said Satinder Sahota, president of Local Victory, an online guide with advice and articles on winning political elections.
Although candidates want to be in touch with voters as much as possible, some people may feel there are too many people coming to their door, according to Sahota. “But there are also people that feel that they will vote for somebody because they came to their door,” she said in a telephone interview.
On election day, you might see an increase in door-to-door campaigners if you have not voted yet.
“A lot of people might change their mind on election day and not go and vote,” said Sahota, who added that something could happen such as suddenly feeling unwell, someone else at home getting sick, or something else in life springing up. For East coasters, that something else was a devastating hurricane.
Door-to-door campaigners trek out to homes, “doing whatever it takes to get them to the poll with re-emphasizing how important voting is … in elections, every single vote can make a difference,” said Sahota.
Who a person votes for remains concealed, but whether or not someone has voted is open for others to see. If you have told “every candidate that you are going to vote for them, then they might all come after you,” advised Sahota. It’s strategic, so the knock on the door may be a friendly reminder to vote or an effort to gain your support for a candidate.
While door-to-door campaigning has been around for a long time, Sahota said that the method may have just shaped naturally as candidates headed out, talking to the voters. She remembers seeing old photos of people gathering in a town’s square, listening to a candidate speak at a time when it was only men—white men—and not women who could cast a vote, said Sahota.
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