Preempt Voter Purges
Happy Blue Year!
This is the start of what will be a very busy year for us and what will be a very important year for our country. Chances are, you have already been working diligently to advocate for and to advance our progressive candidates and causes. 2020, however, is the Big One, and boy do we have our work cut out for us. So, we need you, more than ever, to work hard on recruiting more friends to write with us.
This postcarding effort is different from any of the ones we’ve done so far, in that our goal is now to remind the Democratic voters who have recently moved to update their voter registration.
What happens if a voter doesn’t update their voter registration after they move?
They will become ineligible to vote in the next election, and we’ve all seen those unfortunate news stories, in one state after another, drawing our attention to these states’ purging of hundreds of thousands of voters from their rolls. Nearly all the voter records that are being removed belong to people who moved long ago. We know this, because the U.S.P.S. maintains a database with all the old and new addresses of the voters that move and fill out a forwarding request form. This data is packaged into a service aimed mostly at businesses that send lots of mail. The National Change of Address Service or NCOA database is full of terrific and detailed data about where people moved from and to where.
So, it’s not difficult for anyone with access to the NCOA database to positively match addresses from the voter file. If a voter filled out a request to forward their mail because of a move, there is never going to be a good reason for volunteers to spend their time and postage writing to that address. The voter is, of course, long gone from this address.
With all of the hassle involved in moving, who can really blame the voter for forgetting to give written notice to the elections administrator to cancel their registration if they’re moving to a new county? Or to update their registration if their move is within the same county? Every month, hundreds of thousands of people move in the U.S. and your guess is as good as mine as to how few of them wrote to cancel their old registration.
Preempt Voter Purges
Instead of asking you to spend your time and postage writing to addresses where the voters haven’t lived for 4 to 6 years, we’re going to do something to preempt voter purges. We’re conducting a test with Texas Blue Action Democrats to remind Democrats who recently moved that they need to update their voter registration.
Texas Blue Action Democrats spent money to produce a printed, pre-filled voter registration form mail piece and a postage-paid return envelope. These will be mailed to tens of thousands of Democrats who have recently moved to one of the flippable Texas House Districts. The idea is that the organization will need every single Democrat voting in those districts if there is to be any hope of flipping them. To that point, our hope is that these new Democratic voters, who’ve moved to one of these flippable districts but have not yet updated their voter registration, might update said registration if it’s made really easy for them.
Test Groups/Control Groups
Your postcards will arrive shortly before the forms arrive and we are going to test one randomized group with these advance, friendly reminders, which will stand out in their stack of mail. The hope is that with this fun heads-up postcard, they’ll be more likely to act when the actual form arrives.
Another randomized group will not receive any postcards from us. Texas Blue Action Democrats will compare the results after a reasonable amount of time to see what difference, if any, there might be in registration updates from the group that received a postcard first to the one that did not.
This test could show there is no benefit to sending a postcard first, and if that’s the case, we won’t do another list. On the other hand, if the difference is indeed strong, then we might want to keep doing this in targeted districts across the country, as this would help more Democrats remain eligible to vote at their new addresses and, as a result, could boost a winning turnout.
For this specific test, here are some fun facts
- There are 17 Texas House Districts where the Republican won by fewer than 10 points.
- Of these, 8 of them were lost by fewer than 5 points.
- If just 9 of the 17 can be flipped in 2020, Democrats will regain majority control for the first time in twenty years.
- Flipping the Texas House means fair maps for the next decade.
- In the 2018 election, the 17 target districts were lost by fewer than 60,000 votes.
- There are 90,000 KNOWN Democrats in these same districts who have not yet updated their voter registrations after moving.
- In a pilot mailing project in 2018, 42% of recipients updated their voter registration within two months of receipt.
- Of those, 72% ended up voting in the next election for which they were eligible.
- The test ran from July to October 2018 and included 373,185 voters.
This list we’re writing is relatively small; it is limited to the 17 flippable Texas House Districts. It is also a randomized portion of the list, so that we can have a control group for comparison.
When someone asks you why you’re writing to these Texas Democrats, tell them you’re working to boost winning turnout in future elections by helping Democrats easily update their voter registration after a move.
This is an exciting opportunity to do something proactive and preempt voter purging. If this works well here, the possibilities across the country in other targeted districts are endless.
Write on! ~Tony The Democrat
Returning writers may request voter addresses for this campaign by using one of the following options
- Text HELLO to (484) 275-2229
- Click http://m.me/AbbyTheAddressBot for Facebook
- Email us at Postcards@TonyTheDemocrat.org
- Click Here