The coronavirus is presenting a unique challenge to states and jurisdictions across the country and how to conduct elections is one of them. In this environment, it is possible some states may expand their vote by mail eligibility and infrastructure. Instead of waiting around for the final decision from the ruling bodies, your campaign should start preparing now for expanded “Vote by Mail” operations this fall.
Depending on the level of Vote by Mail infrastructure already in place, each state will need to make a decision on expanding eligibility that is best for them. Some states may elect to send a ballot to all registered voters while others may simply just expand their current Absentee Ballot eligibility criteria, sending a ballot only to those who request it. There will also be some differences amongst states for how to return the ballot with some opting for specific drop off locations and others allowing for the signed ballot to be mailed back.
These distinctions are important for your campaign because they will weigh heavily on the type of direct mail program you need to run. For instance, if your state decides to mail a ballot to all registered voters and allow for them to be returned via mail with just a signature, then your campaign should focus more on persuasion whereas a state that just expands Absentee Ballot eligibility criteria will require campaigns to beef up GOTV operations.
The grid below offers more detailed information for each potential scenario.
To prepare for any of these scenarios, here are a few action items your campaign can start doing today:
- Place a greater emphasis on identifying your supporters and integrating them into your campaign. Keep your key supports up to date on any changes to the voting process and give them the tools necessary to ensure they are updating their network.
- Start an enhanced or boosted persuasion mail program that engages voters earlier than typically done in past election cycles with varying formats and levels of voter engagement. Further enhance this effort by adding on perf cards that fully engage voters into campaigns and incorporate a light fundraising ask that can help recoup some of the costs of a bigger, more robust mail program.
- Lay the foundation to run a multi-pronged effort that reaches individual voters on multiple fronts with the same message/request (direct mail, texts, robo call, email, digital ad). This is especially important for the states that will require extra GOTV efforts that will involve a heavy voter education component.
To get additional information on how your direct mail programs should be structured and can be coupled with fundraising mail campaigns, contact us today.