After hearing about this issue, Ben created a Chat Bot in an existing instant messaging workspace used by the field team to communicate with each other during phone and text banking. The back-end of the bot consisted of a Google Cloud Function and a Google Sheet configured as a list of issues and the appropriate responses to them. After implementation, users were able to communicate with the bot by typing one-word messages in a channel that the bot monitored. typing an issue’s word would result in the bot replying with the candidate’s position, which could then be relayed to the voter. If a user typed the word “list” in the channel, the bot would respond with a list containing the word/abbreviation for each issue, along with a short description of the issue.
The bot was a success. The field team used it from the day it was deployed until the end of the election. After implementation, the field team even started adding responses that volunteers should use for things other than issues.