The campaign to reelect President Obama has launched a new iPhone application that is designed make the canvasser’s clipboard a relic of the past.
The campaign is using the app to share voter lists with volunteers, who can report back on their efforts to knock on doors in real time. The app gives volunteers scripts and talking points to use in conversation with potential supporters, as well as information about voter registration and new voting rules. Volunteers can use the app to find out about campaign events and to reserve slots at field office phone banks.
The app also provides a means for collecting donations. While the press release and accompanying video don’t disclose the details, there are some clues in the user agreement as to how this might work. Volunteers who download the app are advised of certain restrictions, “in the event you use the Application to collect personal information from third party donors.” This suggests that rather than working along the lines of the SMS-based donations that were recently authorized by the Federal Election Commission, the Obama app simply allows volunteers to submit payment information for donors on a one-to-one basis.
Volunteers must agree “not to use Donor Information to stalk, harass, abuse, threaten, offend or violate the rights of any other party.” The campaign can remotely suspend or disable a user’s access to the app, in the event that these terms of service are violated.
The app is currently only available for iPhone. The campaign says an Android version will follow.