The first Tuesday of November will look very different this year. Unable or unwilling to venture out to a public polling place for fear of exposure to the coronavirus, more Americans than ever before will be requesting mail-in and absentee ballots. This presents a unique set of challenges for voters and candidates alike.
Despite these challenges, it also presents an opportunity: early data from states that held primaries on June 2nd show that turnout surged compared to previous years. Iowa’s state primary turnout hit 24 percent, which set a new record for their primary turnout. Combatting these challenges effectively helps make sure your supporters are part of this same historic turnout.
This election year will see many first time voters. They will join alongside the vast number of people who will be voting by mail for the first time ever. An understandable amount of confusion stems from the fact that every state administers its own election laws, and therefore every state has different processes and deadlines for applying, qualifying, and verifying mail-in ballots.
With at least half of votes expected to be cast via mail, the system will likely be overwhelmed in the fall as it was in Wisconsin during their April elections, in which almost 10,000 voters didn’t receive their ballots in time.
Dispelling this confusion and informing voters how to cast their ballot by mail is going to be a top priority as we near Election Day. Every campaign will need a plan for getting the word out quickly and effectively. The solution? RumbleUp.
With RumbleUp, your campaign is able to have reliable, real-time conversations with voters. People with specific questions can have them answered right away instead of trying to sort through FAQ sections or waiting on emails and calls to get through. In the absence of being able to knock on doors and have face-to-face conversations, texting has quickly become a campaign’s best option to have personal one-on-one conversations with voters. Texts sent through our platform have a 90 percent open rate, along with a response rate that is 20 to 30 times better than email.
It is essential to begin having P2P text conversations with voters encouraging them to request their ballots as soon as possible. As absentee ballots are returned at an even rate over weeks leading up to the election, including 25% of ballots which are submitted two weeks before election day, the window during which voters can be influenced is often cut substantially shorter. Asking voters when they plan on requesting their ballot and following up in the conversation by encouraging them to request their ballot sooner rather than later can help ensure that voters friendly to you aren’t being left out of the election this fall.
Campaigns also have the ability to add tags to contacts and conversations in our portal. After a voter requests a mail-in ballot, the campaign can tag that conversation so they know who to follow up with to make sure they were able to fill out and mail in their ballot. Similarly, when a voter has already cast their ballot, the campaign can tag that person so they won’t be bothered with more texts about something they’ve already done. This feature allows campaigns to close the loop with voters to make sure they have what they need to vote.
This tagging feature combats a big problem with repeating requests over phone calls and emails. Once a voter has voted, they don’t want to be bothered again about doing so. RumbleUp’s tagging feature allows campaigns to ensure just that.
Your campaign can also leverage the power of P2P internally. As previously in-person events go online, so do the behind the scenes operations that make them happen. Digital organizing can be tricky, but it is crucial in this election cycle, and it looks like we have some catching up to do: among the 44 House seats that Democrats won from Republicans in 2018, 34 were instances in which the Democratic candidate used digital organizing and the Republican did not. P2P allows you to send out a mass text to your whole team and carry on the conversation with each person individually, which saves you time and money and makes sure everyone’s on the same page.
The 2020 election cycle is looking a lot different than anyone could have imagined. The COVID-19 threat and negative rhetoric surrounding mail-in voting have brought new challenges, but it has also given us new opportunities to reach more voters than ever before. Using RumbleUp’s scalable peer-to-peer texting platform, your campaign can seize these opportunities in effective and exciting ways.