What Is the Legal Definition of Canvassing
In the 2020 election, Democratic candidates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are using canvassing to mobilize grassroots supporters and gain significant momentum for their campaign.  Canvassing is the systematic initiation of direct contact with individuals, often used during political campaigns. Canvassing can be done for many reasons: political campaigns, grassroots fundraising, community outreach, membership recruitment, and more.  Activists are knocking on doors to personally contact people. Canvassing is used by political parties and thematic groups to identify supporters, convince the undecided and add voters to the voters list through voter registration, and it is essential to end electoral operations. This is the central element of what political campaigns call the ground game or the field. There were many reasons why candidates invested a lot of time and money in customer acquisition. As in the previous tradition of surveying supporters before the announcement, many candidates would use the screens to determine their level of support and would give up before election day if it proved inadequate. Part of the worry would be financial. Campaigning was expensive at a time when voters expected food and drink. During this period, the candidates had to bear the costs of the election themselves.
If candidates didn`t find enough votes during their advertising campaigns, they would give up before wasting more money on a lost campaign.  Since 2000, election advertising has become widespread. An intense effort from Al-Gore`s 2000 campaign was credited with winning several points on election day in the 2000 elections, enough to win the referendum, even though it had dropped several points in the polls the day before. Subsequently, Republicans launched their 72-hour program to withdraw voting efforts in the last three days of a campaign, and also found demonstrable evidence that it earned them several points in key races.  The Obama campaigns of 2008 and 2012 were particularly well known for allocating resources to a field program.  Modern election advertising can be done by a paid candidate, volunteer and/or advertiser. Solicitors get lists known as canvas sheets (or access to a canvassing app) or in the UK in the form of reading blocks. This is a list of households to contact, generated from a database of voters.
Some campaigns have now replaced sheets of paper with apps for tablets or smartphones.  In 1999, Gerber and Green published their first paper in which they presented a tightly controlled experiment that led to a significant increase in voter turnout in a municipal election in New Haven, Connecticut.  This study has revived interest in the subject. Since then, Gerber, Green and other political scientists have conducted a program that has verified these results and tested which techniques are most effective. Walking advertising is the most effective method of contact, increasing voter turnout by about 7 percentage points, while talking on the phone increases it by 2.6 points. Other contact techniques such as direct mail, robocalls and e-mail have weak to undetectable effects.  Other studies have shown that solicitation can do more to increase voter turnout and win new votes at the door through persuasion.   Modern solicitation dates back to the rise of contested elections in England. In the early centuries of the English general election, elections were rarely contested. Losing an election was seen as a disgrace to yourself, your friends and family.
The election campaign therefore included a silent poll by the small pool of voters. It was only when this process convinced a candidate that he had enough votes to win that he declared his interest in the seat.  In the United Kingdom, the Reform Act of 1832 tackled corruption and extended the right to vote. This, combined with the growing strength of national parties, has changed the solicitation. There were no lists of people who were entitled to vote under the new law, and it was up to the voter to register. The parties launched mass advertising with the aim of including all party supporters in the voters` list. For example, in Norwich in 1874 there were 3,000 Liberal wage workers and 2,000 Conservative salaried workers registered to vote.  The massive paid solicitation ended with the Corrupt and Illegal Practices Prevention Act of 1883, which limited campaign expenses. Thus, armies of paid advertisers have been replaced by smaller voluntary efforts. Laws have also been changed in the UK to make voter registration almost automatic, so parties don`t have to make an effort.  There is a long history of studying the effectiveness of solicitation, beginning with a 1927 study by Harold Foote Gosnell.  In the 1980s, a series of controlled and natural experiments led to a consensus that solicitation had a low impact on voter turnout and had no observable persuasive effect on voter turnout.
 The following is an excerpt from a scenario used by the British Labour Party for telephone advertising in the run-up to a general election: In Scandinavia, door-to-door advertising was an accepted part of the election campaign in the first half of the 20th century, but has since faded. It still exists, but a political party that knocks on someone`s door is considered a bit unseemly. Corporate advertising campaigns are more prevalent, either by unions or employers.  Beginning in the Elizabethan era and during the conflicts between the Stuarts, elections began to be openly contested. Canvassing was a controversial strategy. In 1604 and 1626, canvassing for votes was prohibited. This was seen as a violation of free elections, as votes would be won by persuasion rather than by a voter forming his or her own opinion.  Nevertheless, solicitation was common in English elections in the late 17th century. Rival campaigns would try to poll all voters, who even in the largest constituencies would be only a few thousand people. In the first elections in the United States, advertising was scarce.
Most elections were not contested, and even in multi-candidate races, it was considered inappropriate for a candidate to campaign on his or her own behalf.  In the early 19th century, as the party system developed, elections became more contested and voluntary associations developed to work on behalf of candidates. As in the UK, solicitation became an important part of their operations, and they tried to visit every voter in a district.  Door-to-door advertising is little known in most other countries. It has been used in several Latin American countries, including Brazil and Chile.  Following the highly noticed advertising tactics of the Obama campaign, similar tactics were tried in France and Germany.  As corruption subsided, parties began to win votes again through persuasion and exit efforts (GOTV). This was especially true for the new socialist parties such as the Labour Party in the UK and the CCF in Canada, which had little money but enthusiastic volunteer bases that could be deployed on the doorstep. .