Poll watching goes mobile

The majority of Democratic campaigns, up and down the ballot, will have real-time intelligence Tuesday on who has actually cast a ballot with the release of NGP VAN’s Mobile Pollwatcher. Using the data, progressive field teams will be able to target their GOTV activities accordingly and avoid contacting people who have already voted. While Mitt Romney’s campaign launched a similar tool, NGP VAN boasts that its innovation is collaborative, so the information will be shared among all Democratic campaigns with access to VAN. “I think it will have a fairly substantial effect, particularly later in the day when large portions of people have voted,” says Stu Trevelyan, president and CEO of the technology firm. In the past, poll watchers would rely on written lists, handed off to field teams, to help them target those who had yet to vote. But by the time a field operative reached the door of some of the people on the list, they had already cast their ballot.

Tomorrow, Trevelyan says, thousands of poll watchers will use mobile phones with web access to log in information at the polls that will be relayed instantly to GOTV teams.

In a state like Pennsylvania, with competitive races at all levels of the ticket, he says Obama for America won’t need to have a poll watcher in every precinct this year to know where to send field teams—so long as a VAN-powered campaign is filling the gaps.

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