As promised, I’m spending the next few Feel Good Fridays focused on voter education and election-related organizations. For all of us feeling sadness, fear or anger right now (or for the last four years), I have a lovely antidote – action.
It began in 2017 as an experiment by Scott Forman during the special election for U.S. Senate in Alabama. Using a randomized, controlled trial he found that turnout among people who received get out the vote (GOTV) letters was 3.9 percent higher than for turnout in the control group. That was a big enough success for Scott and some friends to build the Vote Forward platform. As he explains, “we believe our democracy depends on everyone participating, so we volunteered our time and expertise to achieve that goal.”
So how does it work? You can watch this short video or keep reading.
Start by going to the Vote Forward website and clicking the link to “send letters”. Fill out a short form and get approved within 48 hours. Once confirmed, decide whether you want to send 5 or 20 letters (you can always go back for more) and either let the randomizer send you names or pick a state to target from this list of social campaigns.
I chose the randomizer and now have the names and addresses of 20 registered voters in Florida! Next step is to print out the letters (or go to your local copy shop), add a personal note and wait until the send date of October 17th to pop them in the mail. If you’re wondering why October 17th, Vote Forward found there is a sweet spot for GOTV letters, not too soon and not too late. You can read the full explanation and get mailing tips here.
Are you ready to join me? Vote Forward set a goal of sending out 10 million voter turnout letters in 2020 and the current count is 8.23 million. I got my list of voters on Thursday and I already feel better even though all I’ve done so far is print out the letters and buy stamps.
If you don’t have time to write, please consider a donation to Vote Forward and help them meet their goal of 10 million letters by spreading the word on social media. Like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @votefwd.
Stats from Vote Forward as of October 23rd:
* Total letters written: 17,484,276
* Total volunteers writing letters: 182,331
* Value of stamps purchased, supporting USPS: $9.6 million
* Percent of prepared letters confirmed sent so far: 93%
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