Stay calm on Election Day

Posted on Tue, Nov 06, 2012

Tags: campaign management, GOTV, organizing and leadership, tips

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The first time I went through Election Day, I was totally overwhelmed. Trying to keep track of the numbers coming in, confirm my volunteers, report my numbers to my RFD, respond to panicking supporters and reports of irregularities at the polls... by 9 AM, I was chasing my tail.

Thankfully, the 2008 primary gave me the chance to experience E-Day over and over until I learned the important lessons (kinda like the Election version of Groundhog Day). If there is one thing I learned, it's this: stay calm.

No matter what your role on the campaign, the tone you set today will determine how your team functions. Here are a few specific pointers:

  • No yelling. It's easy to get amped up and react with passion. Sure, you can have a rousing speech to rally the troops for the last hurrah (here's my favorite), but don't yell at anyone today. Keeping your voice calm and steady is the best way to exhibit the confidence and leadership your team needs.

  • Focus on what you can control. There will be all sorts of reports today, some quite alarming. Whatever you hear, ask yourself if it's something you can control. If it is, ask if you need to take action (often, you don't). If you can't control it, or if taking action won't really help, let it go.

  • Stick to your plan. There will be a lot of demands for you to change course today. Before you change anything, assess how it would impact the rest of your plan, and whether or not you really need to do it.

Today's the day, friends. Stay calm, enjoy it, and leave it all on the field.

Got a story of E-Day overwhelm? Share in the comments!

Evan Sutton is Communications Director at NOI

Photo from soukup, via Creative Commons

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