Sunday, May 6, 2012

Training Video Premier

This week in Dodge City, the clerks and election commissioners in Kansas discussed creative ways we are all getting the word out regarding Photo ID, now necessary when voting by mail or in person in Kansas (unless a voter is on the permanent sick and disabled list where the voter is automatically issued a ballot by mail).

There's considerable energy and creativity, times 105 (the number of counties), going on in the field.

As mentioned earlier in ElectionDiary, I've directed our meager funds toward election worker training.

I've done this for a few reasons:

  1. In general, I don't think the need to bring ID will be news to voters.  Most will come in with a driver's license.  There are other IDs that are allowed, but trying to reach individuals who might try to use one of those would be a considerable guessing game and very inefficient.
  2. It ties to my "key connector" approach on outreach.  I want to hit 10 hubs that spoke out to thousands rather than groups of 20 at a time looking to fill a weekly meeting agenda.  2,000 election workers include high-school students and high achievers in their first, second, or current professional act.  Many are wired within several social groups.
  3. Our big message will continue to be encouragement for voters to cast ballots in advance.  In fact, we likely will have 10 percent fewer polling places than we had in 2008.
  4. Ultimately, when we're aiming for excellent execution, properly arming election workers with tools and understanding to help voters will pay off most on election day.

The three elections at the polls thus far have validated this view.  At our training in July, we will show a video that we created as an ice-breaker to smooth any apprehension about the difficulty of administering Photo ID.

I showed this video to an audience for the first time in Dodge City.  I felt like a real movie producer, relieved that the group laughed at the right moments and thought it was effective.

Then, after the showing the video, I'll pull up screen shots of the characters' personas and provide key points for addressing that situation.

The video features several characters, all played by the same person, Paul Wagner.  We used actual election workers in the video and they were amazing.

Paul has posted the video on YouTube.  I'm putting the link here knowing that some of our election workers will have seen it by the time we roll into July and, in fact, the second character in the video is one we are taking out of our July training.

Our personas include someone who intentionally doesn't come with ID, someone who comes with the wrong ID, someone who doesn't look like his photo, someone who comes in only with the voter registration card, someone who wants to discuss the new law with an election worker, someone who believes his ID is valid and doesn't want to come back and wait in line, a familiar face who is surprised he still is asked for ID, and a voter who goes by several names.  Paul plays himself briefly just for context and the bit is hosted by a British hipster.

I hope you like it.  Comedy is subjective and as I mentioned before, this was a risk, but I'm feeling better and better about our training plan this fall, and this is one reason why.

I'm working with Paul on another training project that I hope to highlight here in a month or so.