Now that the May elections are over, here are the good housekeeping tasks which wrap up the contest properly and help get the next campaign off to a good start:
- Get the election expense returns in on time. Even if you did nothing in a campaign beyond nominating a candidate, the paperwork still needs completing and returning.
- Recycle leftover leaflets and securely dispose of any leftover personally addressed literature. Top-tip: have at least two of you do this and take photos before doing so as there are rules about excluding undelivered literature from election expenses. It’s therefore a good idea to be able to prove what was disposed of after polling day.
- Take a leaf out of George Bush Senior’s book and say thank you to helpers, candidates, donors and everyone else. Don’t forget to thank those who retired from public office this time around. Also remember to thank people who put up posters. Thanking those who did and explaining why it’s valuable that they did helps get even more posters up next time.
- Organise a campaign debrief session. It can be a good idea to get someone from outside the local party to moderate the session. That helps avoid the team slipping into groupthink on any key issues. It can also be useful to deal with any local tensions over what was done or why.
- Enter into our computer systems all those bits of data that didn’t quite get fully processed during the rush of the election and then polling day. Whether it is extra scraps of data from polling day, information about emails which bounced or sorting out information stuck hurriedly into the Notes field in Connect, it can add up to a considerable chunk of data.
- Tidy up your records. Once all your data is safely in the systems, delete or shredding those original scraps of information so that they don’t end up accidentally leaking personal data.
- Get the marked registers from the local council. These show who voted and so are very valuable information for future campaigns.
- Did you have keen helpers or supporters who are not party members? Ask them to join the party. If joining isn’t for them, see if they’re willing to sign up as a registered supporter.
- When you’re ready to start planning the next election, there is my book 101 Ways To Win An Election and the free email course based on it.