An area computer consultant is offering software he says will handle everything you need to run a political campaign, completely free.
David Lynn, a computer data specialist who’s been marginally involved in politics, now writes about campaign finance issues for the Philadelphia Public Record.
If you want to run for office in Pennsylvania, and download his software, he promises it will create campaign-finance reports and allow you to make strategic use of voter lists you can get from the state for $20.
“You can isolate super-voters, people who are most likely to vote,” Lynn explained. “You can target voters that are likely to vote for you because they’re male, female, a certain age group, a certain party. You can remind people to get absentee ballots.”
Lynn said the software is free on his website—really free.
“I don’t ask for your name, your telephone number, your e-mail address, your credit card, anything like that,” Lynn said. “There’s no trial version, no nothing. And I don’t solicit contributions, nor do I accept them.”
Lynn doesn’t offer service contracts to maintain the software either.
Why do it? Lynn said he wants to open the political system to newcomers:
“It’s a game-changer. It’s a playing field-leveler,” Lynn said. “The people who are likely to use my software are most likely young, new to the system, haven’t run for office before. And if they use it to take out incumbents, that’s a good thing.”
Two campaign consultants contacted said such a system is worth thousands of dollars if it really works.
Fred Keller, a Republican state representative in Central Pennsylvania who won his seat last year, said he used Lynn’s software to file his campaign-finance reports.
“We found it on the Internet, and when it said ‘free,’ that fit right into our budget,” Keller said in a phone interview. Keller said the software worked beautifully for preparing his campaign-finance reports.
He didn’t use the features which analyze voter lists.