Understand how voters feel about local issues and identify potential supporters with textbot surveys

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Understand how voters feel about local issues and identify potential supporters with textbot surveys

Make smarter decisions with better information.

How can surveys be customized to local issues and conducted quickly? On a tiny budget with little technical expertise? Textbots let even grassroots groups conduct targeted surveys and build lists of potential supporters.

This blog explains how Sherman Hardy, candidate for County Executive in Prince George County, Maryland uses textbots to survey local residents to see how they felt about breed-specific legislation (BSL) laws to regulate or ban certain dog breeds. Sherman use insights from the survey to refine his campaign messaging and builds contact lists of potential supporters.

Creating the survey

Breed-specific legislation (BSL) laws regulate or ban certain dog breeds in an effort to decrease dog attacks on humans and other animals. But there’s no evidence proving such laws have been effective. Sherman created a three question survey:

  • Should Prince George’s County take a more breed-neutral approach and regulate aggressive animal and behavior? (Yes/No)
  • Increasing penalties and options for dogs deemed dangerous? (Yes/No)
  • Laws that hold dog guardians financially accountable for failure to adhere to animal control laws? (Yes/No)

Creating a chatbot

These questions were entered in the textbot – without any programming. The textbot asks these questions in order and saves the responses automatically along with the phone number of the respondent. Surveys can have upto ten questions which can be changed as needed.

Keep it super simple (KISS)

People who see the ad simply scan the QR Code. This starts a dialog with the textbot as a series of text messages. This happens automatically and the textbot can handle dozens of discussions at the same time. People are directed to Sherman’s campaign website where they can learn more about him. The answers to the survey questions and the responders phone number are saved in a database which Sherman’s team uses to follow up with the people who completed the survey. The cost per completed survey is about 5 cents.

Sherman Hardy

Sherman Hardy is a veteran of the US Air Force, Emergency Management specialist, businessman, homeowner and community activist. He’s running to serve as the next County Executive in Price George’s County after working on social-economic, food justice, veterans, LGBTQ and affordable housing issues for years. Sherman has been lauded by President Obama for his tireless commitment in service to veterans. During the pandemic, successfully petitioned the Governor to allow the usage of Remote Notary/Signing so that official documents could still be notarized and recorded. Support Sherman Hardy.

TakeAway: Learn how your voters feel about issues and identify potential supporters with TextBots. They’re affordable and run on their own.

Deepak
DemLabs

Chatbot resources

Get answers to chatbot questions here and in the blogs:

Breed-specific legislation

Breed-specific legislation (BSL) is the blanket term for laws that either regulate or ban certain dog breeds in an effort to decrease dog attacks on humans and other animals. However, the problem of dangerous dogs will not be remedied by the “quick fix” of breed-specific laws—or, as they should truly be called, breed-discriminatory laws. There is no evidence that breed-specific laws make communities safer for people or companion animals. Following a thorough study of human fatalities resulting from dog bites, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) decided to strongly oppose BSL. The CDC cited, among other problems, the inaccuracy of dog bite data and the difficulty in identifying dog breeds (especially true of mixed-breed dogs). Breed-specific laws are also costly and difficult to enforce.” – American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (APSCA)

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Democracy Labs is a hub for ongoing technology and creative innovation that serves progressive campaigns and organizations at the national, state, and local levels.

Our focus is on long term, sustainable and affordable solutions. An approach that is longer than an election cycle, and isn’t purely dependant on volunteers, can enable more qualified candidates to run for office and for more issue groups to bring about positive social change.

Democracy Labs is a project of the Tides Advocacy Fund.

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