Sister District Study shows postcarding has strong effect on voter registration rates

As our Director of Research here at Sister District Action Network (SDAN), I’m so excited to share the results from our March 2018 postcarding experiment conducted in conjunction with the voter registration efforts of the Voter Participation Center (VPC). Overall, we found that our postcards significantly increased voter registration rates! Read on for more information.

Objective:
To determine if the receipt of a handwritten postcard a week before or a week after receipt of an official voter registration form increased the odds of people completing & sending the voter registration form back to their Secretary of State.

Specifics: 
Sister District Action Network (SDAN) partnered with the Voter Participation Center (VPC) to send handwritten postcards encouraging registration to eligible, unregistered individuals living in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Arizona in March 2018. These postcards were sent in conjunction with VPC’s Voting Age Population Program, which sent official voter registration forms to these same people.

Key Findings:

  • The major finding of this study was that handwritten postcards sent after the receipt of voter registration materials (chasers) had a significant positive impact on the odds that a person would return their materials. Unregistered individuals had 20% higher odds of returning the completed form when they were sent a chaser, compared to the odds of returning the registration form after receiving the form alone (without a postcard). This finding achieved statistical significance (p=.009), after controlling for individual-level variables.
  • Sending a chaser was more effective than sending a postcard prior to receiving the registration form (i.e., a primer). But both target groups that received postcards completed their forms in higher numbers than the control group that did not receive any postcard. This means that receiving a postcard increased the odds of registration completion by about 14%. This finding also achieved statistical significance (p=.036), after controlling for individual-level variables.

Interesting Group Analyses:

  • Race. Asian and Caucasian people had the highest response rates, with both groups returning the largest percentage of registrations by race. Black, Hispanic, and Native American people all had much lower rates, indicating Asian and Caucasian people may have been especially motivated by the postcard in a way that other people were not. It is clear, however, that receiving a postcard after the receipt of the registration form produced the most successful registrations in all racial categories.

  • Age.  Age may also provide some interesting insights about postcard effectiveness. For voters under 25 and voters in the 50-64 age range, the utility of the postcard was minimal. However, for voters 25-39, who had the worst response rate overall, we saw a large increase due to receiving either postcard. We also saw a large increase in voters 65+, the group with the best response rate, when they received the postcard after the registration form. Similarly, people 40-49 also saw a boost from receiving a chaser postcard. This indicates that there may be especially large value in postcarding in conjunction with voter registration form receipt for voters 25-49 and over 65, but may not provide as much value for voters under 25 and between 50-64.

Takeaways:

  • The SDAN+VPC postcard program significantly increased the number of people who successfully completed and submitted their voter registration form through the VPC VAP Program.
  • Sending a postcard after receiving the form was more effective than receiving it before.
  • Postcards were most effective in increasing registration completion among Asian and Caucasian Americans.
  • Postcards were most effective in increasing registration completion for individuals in the 25-39 and 65+ age ranges.
  • Caveat: these subgroup analyses (race and age) provide suggestive evidence about which groups responded best to postcards, but are not definitive evidence. More testing is required to gain a deeper understanding in order to understand how to best engage different groups.

SDAN’s Contributions:

  • SDAN volunteers purchased, completed, and mailed 57,259 postcards to eligible, unregistered individuals. Without your hard work, this experiment could not have been completed!
  • VPC has replicated these results and is now using the central findings in additional voter registration programs and contexts.
  • The results of this study are particularly impressive, considering our expectation of a low response rate due to the particular VPC program that was utilized.

Next Steps:

  • VPC is eager to continue working with SDAN. We are planning a follow-on postcarding experiment. This experiment will target a VPC program know to prompt the highest response rate, will replicate and further validate our results, and will continue to build on this encouraging preliminary work.
  • Note that this experiment tested the use of postcards to boost voter registration.  The study does not tell us about the utility of postcards to boost voter turnout. We will be planning experiments to test the use of postcards for voter turnout, to see if the encouraging results we’ve seen for voter registration extend to turnout. Stay tuned!

Onward,
Gaby Goldstein
Director of Research
Sister District Action Network

2nd Postcarding Program Launched

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Due to the enormous popularity of our Wine and Sign events in Corte Madera, Indivisible Marin is expanding its post carding program to meet the demand of our enthusiastic volunteers and to offer an additional convenient location for our members who live in North Marin. We will be hosting two "Write to Win" events in August at Sports Basement on Vintage Way in Novato.  Families and students of all ages are welcome!

Join us from 7 – 8:30 pm on Wednesday, August 8th and Wednesday, August 22nd to write postcards in support of Katie Hill’s US congressional campaign in CD 25, currently considered a toss-up race.  Katie grew up in the district and is the executive director of the largest non-profit provider of homes for the homeless in the state of California.  If elected, she will be the first openly bisexual member of congress.  Katie is not accepting any campaign money from corporations or Super-PACs.  Fine out more about Katie and her progressive platform here.  

Post carding is a very effective way to reach out to voters, encourage them to vote, and support strong Democratic candidates.  We offer post carding, as well as weekly text and phone banks, in coordination with campaigns for candidates in red districts to help flip Congress and take back power in Washington! All post carding supplies will be provided and light snacks served.  Please note that, per Sport’s Basement policy, no alcohol will be served.  

 

July Membership Meeting - Location/Venue Change

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We have exciting news to report! We have been experiencing dramatic growth over this last month. People are "riled up and ready to go" following the terrible developments regarding the separation of families, the far-right Supreme Court nominee, and now Trump's treasonous behavior in Helsinki. The midterms are less than four months away and taking back Congress is the only way to stop this extreme threat to our democracy.

Many of you who are planning to attend the meeting are new to Indivisible Marin. We want to offer you a more substantive agenda than the summer format we had originally envisioned would have allowed. Plus we have now outgrown a private home. 

So, we've changed both the venue and the format. The new location is the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Marin at 240 Channing Way in San Rafael. We will be meeting in the Fireside Room. Upon arrival, head across the outdoor patio area to the right of the church, and you will see the entrance.

At the meeting, we will provide you with an overview of our strategy to ensure that every hour spent by each of our volunteers will be as impactful as possible toward our collective goal of winning back Congress on November 6th. We will also have an introduction to textbanking and write postcards to voters.

We will have an optional orientation for new members at 6:30 PM to cover some background on our history, structure and operating philosophy, as well as that of Indivisible National.

Thank you for stepping up and engaging in this fight. Together we will take back Congress - once phone call, once text message, one postcard and one voter at a time.

Should you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to contact us at indivisiblemarin@gmail.com.

We look forward to seeing you on Thursday.

 

 

Hot off the press: Indivisible Marin's campaign strategy

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After extensive research and consultation with numerous campaign experts and leaders at Indivisible, Swing Left, Democracy Action Marin and others, the Indivisible Marin Steering Committee approved an electoral strategy for our chapter's work from now to November 6th. We are very confident that this plan will ensure that YOUR volunteer hours will be as impactful as possible toward the goal of taking back Congress!

In brief, our strategy for helping to flip the House will be to campaign for Katie Hill, who is running for the House seat in CD-25, and Josh Harder, the candidate for the House in CD-10. We chose these districts with four factors in mind: 1) the likelihood of flipping, 2) the candidates, 3) in-district tools and support and 4) geography. 

Our plan is also to draw upon Obama's "snowflake" model of community organizing. According to this article, "The snowflake structure encourages accountability and results, and is designed for organic growth and replication." In line with this model, our goal is to introduce and train our members in tactics such as textbanking and postcarding, and once they have gained experience, to empower them to do the same with their friends and others in their personal circles. This approach will allow us to quickly scale up and out and have maximum impact on the goal of taking back the House. 

Please join us in this work! Sign up today to start textbanking, phonebanking and/or postcarding. Once you're up and running, you can continue to join our group sessions, or start your own. We will win one text, call and postcard at a time!!

We've got less than four months until the mid-terms, and our one shot to take back Congress and stop Trump and his GOP cronies. If you are not already engaged in this work, the time is now! A great start is to come to our membership meeting this Thursday. We'll be writing postcards, talking about our new campaign strategy and forging the personal ties to sustain us while we do the hard work to come. We hope you will join us!

Thank you for all you do to contribute your time, expertise, energy, and commitment in support of the Resistance to ensure that American values endure.

In Solidarity,
The Indivisible Marin Steering Committee - Lori, Justine, Laura, Susan S, Laurie and Susan M

 

 

 

Indivisble Marin helps to organize a World Refugee Day Vigil

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A number of activist groups in Marin including Indivisible Marin and Indivisible Sausalito organized a vigil that was held on June 20, the UN’s annual World Refugee Day. Between 700 - 800 people attended (a nearly unheard of number for sleepy, suburban Marin) to listen to a range of elected officials and community leaders from both the White and Latino communities, sing songs and observe moments of silence.

Read more about this event here in the Marin Independent Journal and watch TV coverage here.

Indivisible Marin's Benefit to Take Back Congress

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Sunday, June 3rd 3 - 5:30 PM

Corte Madera Community Center

Any veteran campaign strategist will tell you that knocking on doors is THE single most effective campaign tactic. But in a blue county like Marin, we have to hit the road to participate. To help more Marin residents do so, Indivisible Marin is hosting a Benefit and Silent Auction on June 3rd. Our objective is to to raise funds to offer travel stipends to Marin volunteers who want to canvas in red districts.

At the event, you can peruse and bid on auction items while socializing with friends in the Marin community over wine, cheese and live music. Our motivating keynote speaker, Donnie Fowler of Democracy Labs, will get us "fired up and ready to go" before we wrap up the afternoon by announcing which lucky bidders will take home a prize. It will be a fun event for a great cause!!

In additon to attending, we hope that you will also consider donating an item to the silent auction! Get creative when thinking about all the possible ways you could donate or facilitate a donation. As outlined on this flyer and donation form, your donation will receive prominent exposure at the event, on the event program, and on our online auction catalog. Donating to the auction is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to the community and to our country!

Your donation makes for a win/win situation - we sponsor Marin residents who want to canvas out of district, and you receive the goodwill of the community. Donations must be received by May 27th, but sooner allows for your donation to be promoted longer via our marketing channels. Contributions or gifts to Indivisible Marin are not tax-deductible.

Indivisible Marin launches Wine & Sign: Postcarding to Flippable Districts

We will meet, socialize and engage in participatory democracy by writing postcards to voters in flippable CA districts. Our immediate goal is to get out the vote for the June 5 primary and ensure that a progressive Democrat makes it onto the ballot for the November election in those districts.

All the supplies are provided for you - postage-paid postcards, colored pens & pencils, addresses and suggested messages (including bilingual). This is a FREE event, though donations toward the cost of the cards & postage are welcome and greatly appreciated! 

In addition to a wide array of boutique wines, Zinz offers craft beers, non-alcoholic beverages, and small plate nibbles for purchase. For questions or to reach the host the day of the event, please email lauraflipblue@gmail.com.

We plan to host Wine & Sign parties every other Wednesday at Zinz and will soon be launching postcarding events in other Marin locations. Check the Indivisible Marin calendar for details! 

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Our April Meeting

Our monthly membership meeting in April was full of great information...

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We discussed progress the progressive agenda has made this year, including federal, state, and local election results,  gains in traditionally GOP held areas, legislative wins, and a rapidly growing and passionate grassroots movement.

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We welcomed the California field director for Indivisible National, Chloe Stryker, who talked to us about the organization's explosive growth since the 2016 election and the dynamic plans for 2018, the midterms,  and beyond.  Advocacy work, activism at all levels, leadership training,  Get Out The Vote support, and inter-organization work are all part of what we are doing to flip the country blue.

 

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Indivisible has grown rapidly with groups in nearly every congressional district in the country.  Candidates are courting our endorsements.  We have become a powerful progressive voice at the national, state, and local level.  Come join us!

 

JOIN MARIN STUDENTS AT NATIONAL WALKOUTS!!

 

Friday, April 20th is the 19th anniversary of the Columbine massacre. Many local schools, including Tam High, are taking part in a national school walkout to take action against gun violence. The Tam walkout, organized by students, starts at 10 AM with a march from the school to Mill Valley's depot where there will be speakers and a call to action. 

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We encourage you to join the students in this effort! Indivisible groups across the country are marching with students in solidarity. Together, we will send a message to lawmakers that we won’t tolerate any more inaction on this issue. And if cowardly politicians fail to act, young people (and old alike) will VOTE THEM OUT!!

Other local schools are also organizing walkouts. You can search by zip code to fide one nearest you.