Lessons from the 2016 Presidential Election

The Democrats won Coral Springs, But Lost the Election

 Lessons to be Learned

The Battle for Early Voting at Northwest Regional Library:
The NW Regional Library on University Drive had the most early voting of all the early voting sites. Most of the voters were from Coral Springs and Margate. According to the Supervisor of Elections web site, 34,508 voted at this site which was over 2,000 more than the closest site. 17,929 registered Democrats, 7,854 Republicans and 8,723 “other” independents voted here.

The Library became a battleground between Republicans and Democrats. The police were called to the Library almost every day and some days up to 4x in a day. From 7 AM to 7 PM for 2 weeks it was a “circus”. On some days there were as many as 5 official observers. The election workers did a fantastic job. Even though it was the most crowded, this site had the shortest wait time for the number of voters.
The Republicans targeted this site. No other site had as many Republicans or as many demonstrations as per emails from observers who went to other sites. Weeks before voting began, the Republicans were in the streets yelling and screaming at cars. Naturally they had their rally at Wings Plus on Sample. Coral Springs has always been a strong area for Republicans and “Right to Life” groups.
After all the yelling and screaming, what were the results? In Broward county, Democrats won 66.68% compared to the Republican 31.18% A glance at the voting locations such as precinct E27, “Cypress Run” showed that the Democrats won 63.34% compared to 33.65% The Democratic vote was actually higher than in Obama’s election. In other precincts the democrats won by even more.

Lesson 1
Republicans demonstrated on street corners such as University and Sample. They waved to cars – THEY DEVELOPED EXCITEMENT AROUND TRUMP. Our action, CONCENTRATED ON GOTV. And we did an excellent job of getting out the vote through phone banks and canvassing. The cooperation between FDP and the Hillary campaign was good. Lesson – YOU HAVE TO DO BOTH – GET OUT THE VOTE AND DEVELOP EXCITEMENT

Lesson 2
BE PREPARED: The Republicans did not have a voter guide-palm card. The first day of voting the lines extended past the legal limit from the polling entrance. One person was able to give each voter that wanted a “Voter Guide” The VOTER GUIDE WAS SO GOOD THAT THE REPUBLICANS COPIED IT. The second and third day they had paper copies and then had a printed version of a palm card. Our “Palm Card – Voters Guide” was much better than previous years, easier for voters and was used at the polls and also for canvasssing. However, THEY HAD LOTS OF SUPPLIES. Yard signs, bumper stickers, huge Trump signs, stickers. We had nothing – I had to take my own yard sign to wave at cars entering Library.
Lesson 3
AT EARLY VOTING LOCATIONS, HAVE OBSERVERS FROM DAY 1 – The best is to have voters complain or the head clerk of the precinct about the tactics of some Republicans – Screaming at voters, loud music, sound systems, vulgar signs and even hired minorities to campaign for $, trying to instigate a fight or threatening me There were also times that I asked Hillary demonstrators to leave. KNOW THE RULES We had a trump poll watcher with a Trump sign on his clipboard and shirt – not allowed. The police were there every day

As Cynthia Bush stated we have to have Get Out the Vote and PROTECT THE VOTE. We have to do better at Early Voting Sites where at least half of the votes in this election were cast. I don’t think that we did enough to protect the vote

Roy Trachtenberg
Democratic Committee Person E27 and
Executive Bd. Member of Coral Springs/Parkland Democratic Club

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