On behalf of SEIU 1199’s Fair Care Community Health Campaign, our 2015 signature-collection operation advanced a ballot initiative by gathering and certifying 131,683 signatures in 320 separate cities and towns across the state—in just 53 days. Working against steep time constraints, geographical requirements, and several other issue campaigns with simpler and more attractive messages, we exceeded the legal threshold by nearly 10,000 signatures certified by clerks’ offices. The operation consisted of fourteen organizers and verification specialists working in multiple offices, scaled over a seven-week period from five shifts on Day One to more than 75 at its closing. Additionally, the effort integrated an Election Day program that collected 6,675 signatures in 134 shifts over nine hours. The campaign’s recruitment strategy reflected its community-based messaging and focus, allowing us to strategically hire, train, and manage canvassers.
Colorado: Signature-Gathering for a Ballot Initiative
Working with Coloradans for Safe and Clean Energy (CSCE), we collected 150,000 signatures in support of two constitutional amendments: one protecting the environment and the other giving local municipalities control over when and where fracking can take place. Our focus on validation and accuracy resulted in a deal between the Governor and the opposition on environmental protections, effectively preventing the initiative from reaching voters but achieving CSCE’s principle objective.
Florida: Young Voters and the Hispanic Community
On behalf of NextGen Climate Action, our engagement program in Florida drove midterm turnout among young voters and the Hispanic community by emphasizing Florida’s absentee voting and early-voting laws. After nine weeks on the ground, we had knocked on over 686,000 doors and collected nearly 12,000 absentee ballot applications. In Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, where our Hispanic efforts were based, Hispanic turnout grew by over 45,000 votes from 2010; Charlie Crist, the Democratic nominee for Governor, received an additional 7.5 percent of the absentee vote and 5.5 percent of the early vote, compared to Alex Sink, his 2010 counterpart.
New Hampshire: A First-of-Its-Kind Effort
New Hampshire represents a unique challenge for Presidential campaigns in every respect, including running voter registration and turnout campaigns. The state offers same-day voter registration, but registering before Election Day is extremely cumbersome: Third party registration programs are prohibited. There is no online registration. A new voter cannot even mail in an application (albeit with a few exceptions). For decades, campaigns have searched for ways to effectively target and turn out unregistered voters on Election Day, but the programs consistently lacked data and thus primarily used “blind” targeting to attempt to turn out high Democratic-propensity neighborhoods and precincts.
In 2012, we took a different approach. With consumer-level data available, we were able to create a separate voter file of unregistered voters. After appending a phone match, we then created a model for the unregistered voters’ potential support of President Obama. A universe of approximately 70,000 unregistered New Hampshire voters was isolated as individuals who were highly likely to support President Obama at the polls—if they turned out to vote in the first place. Since they weren’t on the official voter file, other campaigns weren’t communicating with any of them. But we added these voters to our “extended GOTV” program starting in September: they appeared in canvass walk lists with scripts that were specifically tailored towards them. Effectively, we were communicating with a universe of voters that Republicans were unaware existed. The results were clear—“same-day” registration in 2012 was up nearly 30% from 2008—rising from 76,000 to 99,000.
New Hampshire 2014: Unprecedented Mobilization Program
On behalf of NextGen Climate Action, Revolution Field Strategies ran the largest paid-canvass program in New Hampshire history. Over the course of five months, we knocked on more than 370,000 doors throughout the state, increasing turnout by over 33,000 voters over 2010, or 7 percent, despite lower national turnout rates, unique demographics, and the state’s limited absentee balloting and same-day registration.
Nevada: Ongoing Voter Registration
Revolution Field Strategies currently runs a voter-registration program in Clark County, on behalf of the Institute for a Progressive Nevada (IPN). Given Nevada’s place as a swing state and an early Presidential primary state, voter registration programs run continuously, leaving fewer and fewer targets for new registration. In spite of this, our effort is already running ahead of our goals and ahead of the expectations of IPN, even in the face of several other programs competing for the same turf. Currently, the project is at 120 percent of our registrations goal and 129 percent of our completed-shifts goal, all while remaining under-budget; at this rate, the project is expected to finish well ahead of schedule.
North Carolina: Targeting Urban and African-American Communities
In this critical battleground state, Revolution Field Strategies’ program knocked on 294,000 doors in targeted urban and African-American communities in 11 separate regions, complementing the work of the state’s Democratic
Coordinated Campaign and its voter-turnout program. Along with a targeted minority-media campaign, our pushes toward the state’s Early Voting period and toward Election Day played a critical role in raising African American turnout in North Carolina from 40.3 percent in 2010 to 42.2 percent in 2014—far outpacing the turnout increases among any other demographic in the state.