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GOTV operations on the day of the election, I find nothing sketchy about that. GOTV does not mean campaign electioneering. We do have regulations on electioneering on Election Day. But GOTV on election day usually consists of making phone calls to see if people have voted yet, making people aware of their rights, helping them find their polling location, poll watching, making sure people are able to vote. By Election Day, no one is going to waste their time asking for people's vote. They are just focused on getting people to the polls and troubleshooting any problems at the polls.
What does this mean, "Canvassing is just not done."?
Why is that? How do politicians campaign at the local level? Just media and public appearances?
"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
Campaigning on election day is strictly forbidden, and that would probably include candidate's campaigners helping people to vote (There was a GOTV in Paris's fifth arrondissement, where the conservative mayor made sure people took the elderly to the polling booth. And regularly help them vote once in the booth. Ahem.)
Making sure people find their polling location - well, registered voters receive an elector's card giving them the adress of there polling location. Since there are at most 1000 voters per polling location, they are usually accessible by foot, and easily accessible - traditionally in the local primary school. Also, since the voting is on a Sunday, calling people to make sure they vote would include waking them up, and would be badly received.
The closest thing is polling place watching - some people have to man the polling places for the day, and oversee the counting in the evening ; anyone can volunteer for those, but party members do so frequently.
French politics are very much short handed. That's why there is no serious canvassing, and hasn't been for quite some time. The last to have done anything looking like it were the communists, and they probably stopped during the 70's. There simply aren't enough motivated party members left to do anything like that.
As for campaigning, it is mostly done through media and public appearances. The "traditional" way of meeting the citizens is at the local farmer's market. Also, the State sends an envelope to each elector before the election, containing each candidate's propaganda.
Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
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