Technology Devices Overview

This section covers some of the specialized technology that you might use in a voter project, in addition to your computer systems, of course.

In the planning phase, you might use specialized mapping software (GIS) to help in your targeting process. In larger projects, it's a handy way to visually identify areas where your organizing target is located, especially if it's based on such factors as organizational membership, low voter registrations, ethnicity, economic status or frequency of voting. These types of factors can be retrieved from public data or your coalition partners.

In the field organizing phase, canvass data entry can be a big obstacle, so we're covering the basics of handheld bar code scanners. If you happen to have access to enough pda's (personal data assistant devices) to staff your canvassers, you can use them and dispense with walk lists and data entry process.

It's important to have the right tools for the job, but if you don't have access to some of these gizmos, don't dispair, you can still run a top notch project without them. If you have big plans though, you'll want to check these tools out. Advanced preparation is important, as each of them requires a level of technology, funding and expertise that smaller efforts don't require, but once in place, they can really speed up your work.