The COVID-19 pandemic posed many questions to organizations and businesses around the globe, but now also requires changes from the political institutions of the nation. At present, conventions for both the Republican and Democratic parties will continue in August 2020. Although this may change, it’s not the only impact on this year’s political campaigns brought on by the pandemic.
In what became the biggest disruption to an election year in recorded history, combatting the spread of the coronavirus will continue into November. Firstly, both parties will have to decide if there will even be a convention as the situation is still very much unfolding around the country.
Will Conventions for the U.S. Election of 2020 Go Ahead?
Both parties hold conventions so that delegates can cast their votes for their party’s nominee. Based on the outcomes of the caucuses and primaries, the nominees for this year is already decided. It is also where parties present their election platforms before the major campaigning begins. Although both parties want conventions to proceed, they’ve stated that they will use the latest available health recommendations before making the final decision.
Holding virtual conventions isn’t on either party’s agenda so far, but it may be necessary depending on the circumstances. In any measure or the word, the circumstances of this year’s election remain extraordinary. Both parties understand that the pageantry associated with convention brings T.V. viewers than can help their chances in November. However, they will follow the principle of ‘safety first’ to protect voters.
Other Changes to Normal Electioneering Processes during COVID-19
Apart from the conventions, there are more disruptions expected from party officials during the COVID-19 pandemic. Parties have suspended campaign rallies until further notice, due to social distancing rules that also make door-to-door canvassing for new voters nearly impossible. As these are unprecedented circumstances, there will be additional changes required to ensure people hear the candidates’ messages while staying safe.
Increased Need for Printed Materials
Whether it’s a yard sign, direct mail pamphlets, or campaign signage around town, to engage with voters will require nominees to spend on printed materials. Campaigns will have to ensure they can still engage with prospective voters using any means necessary. According to a survey from 2018, 72% of voters in Ohio and Florida said they knew more about candidates due to direct mail campaigns. Expanding voter bases will require both parties to embrace mail campaigns if rallies and conferences remain off the table for the remainder of the year.
Fewer Events Means More Advertising
Even before the pandemic, analysts expected candidates to spend more this year on political ad campaigns than previously. With the lack of news coverage, ad spending will increase exponentially as parties want to get their message across. This includes traditional media, printed material, and digital platforms.
More Mail and Online Voting
In states that allow mail-in voting, it’s clear that voters will cast more ballots in this way than ever before. Other states have different absentee voting rules but could implement similar measures to protect their populations. Voter registration using mail and online platforms will similarly increase. While states move to expand online and mail-in voter registration, campaigns are also turning direct mail to get their messages out to the voting public.
Changes to Polling and Canvassing Operations
Political campaigns depend on polling results throughout the country to allocate resources. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, pollsters will be limited, and getting out to rural communities a challenge for firms. Surveys may have to move online or use physical paper questionnaires to judge the mood of different counties and constituents. The same constraints could lead to delays in the official results from certain regions of the country.
Streamline Printing Processes with Donnellon McCarthy Enterprises
Donnellon McCarthy Enterprises can help get printers to streamline their processes with a wide range of imaging solutions. With fewer people engaging door-to-door or at rallies, printed materials will be vital to ensuring voters engage with a candidate’s message in the upcoming elections. More yard signs, mail campaigns, and printed pamphlets will be required to ensure voters know what candidates in all levels of government stand for and what their policy positions are.
To assist printing houses, Donnellon McCarthy Enterprises provides various printing and imaging solutions, including Managed Print Services, for extra convenience. We can also assist commercial printers with more efficient digital printing solutions, including wide-format platforms, to produce campaign signage and marketing materials.
With optimized print processes and efficient workflows, printers can handle the increased demand for materials during the elections. As the COVID-19 pandemic requires a new way of thinking about electioneering, Donnellon McCarthy Enterprises is poised to help any organization communicate effectively during the coronavirus crisis.
Politicians and candidates are quickly changing the way they operate, a dynamic that will continue through the November elections. Contact DME for help in facilitating direct mail and signage opportunities.