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Campaigns are increasingly modeling polling data onto their contact files to identify what motivates voters to show up at the polls. This can include social-versus-fiscal ideology, or specific issue engagement to reference in messaging for improved voter relevance.

These tactics can be applied for prioritization of GOTV resources and contacts, when creating urgency is at a premium. But this is just one way that campaigns are getting more sophisticated when it comes to getting out the vote.

Here are a few other bleeding edge tools campaigns are using to get their supporters into voting booths on Election Day, and that you should consider for next year.


On Election Day, a selfie is the new check-in. In fact, it’s a way for campaigns to identify which of their wired supporters has turned out, and who they brought with them, while influencing their friends to do the same. Instagram’s API will enable campaign tools to automate much of this functionality, which could make the image-sharing social media site a big player in the social-political communications arsenal.

Neighbor Shaming Via Social

In 2012, we saw personalized direct mail, showing the turnout history of a voter’s neighbor. The pieces were designed to spark some classic keeping-up-with-the-Joneses peer pressure. Now, the same principle is playing out across the newsfeeds of social networks. Who wouldn’t click on the Facebook entry: “84 percent of your friends have voted; you’ll be surprised who hasn’t… #6 is a SHOCKER”? This could be set up via the campaign’s mobile app, or via a Facebook app. 

Hyper-Hyper Local

Mobile geo-fencing got a good test in 2014 and it’s ready for prime time now. The same technology that delivers coupons when you’re within the target radius of a retailer will remind people that they’re close to their precinct and helpfully offer up turn-by-turn directions. Campaigns already have all the data (voter addresses, registration status, and precinct locations) to make this happen, and just need to partner with mobile targeting platforms.

Uber for Voting

Offering rides to the polls is nothing new, but the revolution in car sharing provides a useful template for the efficient scheduling and mapping of GOTV logistics. Uber itself recently experimented with offering free rides to the polls in the most recent Canadian election. Whether campaigns leverage the tactics independently, or partner directly with Uber, Lyft, and Split to get voters to the polls will remain to be seen. Uber already has a public API ready for integration with campaign’s voter files, and Lyft just announced its first technology partnerships.

Campaign Apps for Everyone

Dedicated voter-contact apps have proliferated and enabled campaigns to coordinate local resources using trained volunteers, armed with the latest turnout data and propensity models. These may be used on devices distributed by campaigns, or on the personal smartphones and tablets of volunteers. Don’t send a clipboard to a tablet fight.

Michael Horn is the chief analytics officer at Resonate.