The purpose of a political party is to get its candidates elected and to educate the public about what it represents (platform). Since my last blog post criticized the Utah Republican Party’s apparent disregard for greater participation in the political process, I thought I’d set down some ideas to get greater participation in Utah’s political process:
Make caucuses more attractive to attend for ordinary Utah voters.
- One hour caucus – If we can do it with photography and dry cleaners, then surely we can do it for caucuses.
- Big races straw poll – Wouldn’t it be fun for attendees to weigh in on Presidential or statewide races?
- Create a Party designation for caucus attendees – A Republican caucus attendee might get preferential seating at candidate debates, or receive a Party newsletter subscription or access to tele-townhalls.
- Increase the number of delegates – More caucus attendees attending conventions means more excitement to attend caucus.
- Give caucus attendees assignments – Parties need to reach out to their neighbors more often for voter registration, vote-by-mail, fundraising, and platform education.
- Provide polling forums – Caucus attendees can give opinions to delegates about candidates, bylaws, platform and current issues.
Make conventions more attractive to attend for delegates.
- Easier delegate replacement – Make it easier to replace delegates who can’t attend up to the last minute. Neighborhoods deserve proportionate representation.
- Timely candidate information – Get delegate information and changes of delegates to candidates more quickly.
- One hour or even a three hour convention (instead of up to 8 hours) – How about dealing with the boring stuff on a Friday night and fun stuff like the candidate nominating for Saturday?
- Provide a convention survival kit – Delegates could use a host of help from snacks to Advil to candidate information to crossword puzzles when bored.
- Back to the split up the convention into a Friday night/Saturday morning format. – Turn Friday night into Politicon (ie. Comicon). Have break out sessions with elected officials. Have interactive booths. Have people dress up in character. Make it fun.
Make Primaries and General Election more attractive to voters.
- Vote-by-Mail – Greater emphasis on getting voters to vote-by-mail. How about automatic vote-by-mail request when registering a voter?
- Early Voting – Greater emphasis on early voting. Get caucus attendees involved in contacting voters and getting them to the polls.
- Get Out the Vote (GOTV) – Greater emphasis on GOTV. Get caucus attendees involved in contacting voters and getting them to the polls.
- Persuade unaffiliated voters to register as Republicans – Communicate to unaffiliated voters advantages of registering as a Republican. Create a list of services the Party provides registered Republicans.
- Allow Republicans and Unaffiliated to vote in Primary – History has shown that the majority of unaffiliated voters in Utah vote Republican. Let them vote.
Voter Education and Persuasion.
- Publicity – A robust Party public relations campaign (example: I Can campaign in 2008)
- Articles – More op-ed and blogs regarding Party principles, values and platform.
- Social Media – More social media engagement for discussion of Republican Party principles, values and platform.
- Debates – More Party Chair organized debates between the major political parties.
- Micro targeting – Find issues that voters care about. Then contact each voter about Republican principles with regard to their issues.
Surely there are even better ideas out there. In the comments section, give me some of your ideas for greater voter participation.