Midterm elections are less than 40 days away, yet we are nearing an equally important deadline: voter registration.
Voter registration is the groundwork that underpins any path to electoral victory. Not only does this issue affect unregistered voters, it also affects citizens who have moved addresses, recently turned of age, or changed personal information.
This is the current state of US voter registrations:
- There are over 60 million unregistered voters
- The USPS processed 36 million address changes in the past year
- 62% of eligible voters have never been asked to register
- 20% of states do not have online voter registration, affecting 49 million voters
- Only one state does not require voter registration (read more on that at the end)
As the political tech landscape has evolved, the progressive movement has honed in on leveraging data and targeting for voter identification and to get out the vote. What might be possible if we applied the same level of vigor and targeting to voter registration? The efforts are worthwhile: Unregistered voters are 25.5% more likely to register when their registration is chased by a text or phone call. Registrations increase relatively by 8.5% when physical mail is sent to someone who starts their registration online.
We have a big challenge ahead to register the 60 million unregistered voters and prepare them to vote. Five Higher Ground Labs portfolio companies are leading expertly in this work, leveraging technology, design, and data to convert this challenge into an opportunity for Democrats. If you are a progressive campaign or organization looking to scale up your voter registration efforts, we recommend these companies as your partners.
BallotReady offers a powerful registration engine that provides personalized, nonpartisan information to voters in all 50 states. Their tools show each voter the most effective way for registering in their state and is designed to minimize “leaky funnel” and optimize for conversion. Their VOMO (Vote Or Miss Out) partnership with Snapchat encourages young voters to get registered.
Civitech’s all-in-one voter registration suite includes tools to engage voters through P2P texting, embeds for your website, canvassing, and mail programs. They have identified 26 million unregistered voters that are not in the voter file or other known sources. Conversion rates for Civitech’s print and mail voter registration tools is 68-91%, compared to most other tools’ 20%.
Countable’s turnkey GOTV solution has helped clients like Levi’s, Starbucks, and Patagonia mobilize millions of employees. It creates a voter center that empowers your employees to participate in US democracy. Your stakeholders can register to vote, make sure that they understand their ballots, provide opportunities to volunteer, and ensure they make it to the polls.
Impactive’s voter registration tools makes it easy for celebrities and influencers to customize their voter registration campaigns. At a recent Harry Styles concert, 70,000 people went through his voter registration flow in 3 hours — 70% of which converted. This campaign ultimately reached 100,000 people.
PDI offers white-label VR relational organizing, address-based VR canvassing, address-based canvasing data overlaid with voter data, and VR target modeling. Their partnership with the Texas Democratic Party created a state-wide VR program through county parties, clubs, and affinity groups — built around Texas’ stringent VR requirements.
On National Voter Registration Day 2022, Higher Ground Labs hosted a virtual showcase of the latest innovative technology strategies in flight, fuelling some of the country’s top progressive voter registration efforts. Thank you to Naseem Makiya of Impactive, Alex Niemczewski of BallotReady, Jaime Peters of Countable, Josh Herman of Causes, Sangeeth Peruri of PDI, Hannah Howell of Texas Democratic Party, and Jeremy Smith of Civitech. The insights they discussed on the webinar are the insights we share and reference above.
And if you’ve made it this far, the state with no voter registration is North Dakota. ND abolished voter registration in 1951 for state and national elections. They do however require voters to produce ID when they cast a vote.
If you would like to watch the webinar recording please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.