The Voter Participation Center (VPC) is at the forefront of the development, use and evolution of effective and cost-efficient targeting models, list technologies, and registration, Vote by Mail (VBM) advocacy and mobilization testing and learning. After measuring traditional approaches to stimulating voter registration and turnout and experimenting with new methods, the VPC has pioneered an entirely new toolset.
The fact that the Rising American Electorate — the unmarried women, people of color and young people between the ages of 18-29 who constitute the sole focus of the VPC’s work — share demographic characteristics and are not related to any particular geography — demanded the development of new contact, registration and turnout strategies. In addition, these citizens are highly mobile, hard to find, and politically disengaged — adding to the challenge. And the ever-changing operating environment — the use of new voting technologies, timing and requirements — has also increased the need for tools proven to be effective in reaching and informing the RAE and boosting their participation in our democracy.
The success of the VPC has depended on the use of science and control group testing to maximize the Return on Investment (ROI) and a commitment to a continuous feedback loop of testing and learning. Those principles drive the VPCs work:
- Developing and refining models to increase the accuracy and efficiency of its targeting
- Improving list-based technologies to increase accuracy, decrease waste and cut costs
- Using a universal approach to demographic targets through the mail, phone and internet
- Adapting to changing voting technologies, timing and tools to ensure the RAE is aware of the added convenience of Vote by Mail or Early Voting or is informed of the new punitive laws that are being passed by more and more states VPC innovations in modeling, list enhancement strategies and tools, advocacy, registration and ongoing programmatic testing and learning have dramatically reduced the cost to generate net additional votes. A net additional vote is one that would not have occurred but for the specific “treatment” to generate it. VPC improvements have lowered the cost of producing voter registrations and vote by mail applications since 2004 and have cut in half the cost to produce a net additional vote.
Finally, the VPC shares all of the knowledge, products and tools that evolve from its use of research and controlled tests with the civic engagement community through working partnerships with state and national organizations and the on-going release of research reports, program evaluations, test results and an annual summit convened for this sole purpose.