Vote by Mail:
For more than a decade, the VPC has conducted intensive research on Vote By Mail (VBM) strategies to increase voter turnout. In past elections, the VBM program targeted RAE registered voters with a very high likelihood of not voting in the midterm election. The program was already cost-effective, but the evaluation of the program allowed the VPC to produce a new breakthrough model of VBM that will increase the return on investment in this critical turnout methodology.
The VPC was the first organization to show that some of its key turnout programs not only generate net additional votes (votes that would not have been cast were it not for VPC’s turnout programs) in the election for which the programs are run, but that the programs continued to generate net additional votes in the next election–even though VPC had no subsequent contact with the voter after the first election. In other words, not only was there an initial effect from the program that resulted in more votes being cast, there was also a downstream effect of more votes being cast at the subsequent election as a result of the initial program.
Past programs with a demonstrated downstream effect are: the Promise program, Vote By Mail (VBM), and civic engagement GOTV mailings.
- The Promise program starts with a live phone call to a targeted voter (RAE with a relatively low likelihood of voting) asking them if they intend to vote in the coming election. Once the voter commits to voting, they are told they will receive a mail reminder much closer to the election reminding them of their commitment to vote, and the reminder includes letting them know that whether or not they vote is a public record. They also receive an automated call reminder.
- The VBM program sends applications to request a mail ballot to targeted voters (RAE with a relatively low likelihood of voting) in states that permit “no excuse” absentee voting by mail.
- Leveraging civic responsibility. The VPC has built on academic research to develop a variety of GOTV treatments that leverage Americans’ belief that they are supposed to vote. The four treatments developed not only produced inexpensive net additional votes, but persisted through subsequent elections.
Partnering with National and State-based Canvass Operations:
In addition to running its own programs, the VPC frequently partners with state-based canvass operations to increase response rates and reach. The VPC work with partners shows there are important synergies to be had by combining mail and canvass programs in registration drives.