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Jun 3 2024Blog Updates

Closing the Voter Registration Gap

With 74 million unregistered voters, engaging these individuals is crucial for building a progressive coalition and winning in 2024. Democrats must enhance their registration efforts, focusing on early campaigns to boost turnout.

As we approach the 2024 election, the Democratic Party faces a significant challenge: a substantial gap in voter registration compared to conservatives. This disparity is even more concerning given that since the 2020 election, there has been a significant gain in the number of registered Republicans over that of Democrats. Still, there is a ray of hope. Registering the unregistered likely Democratic voters across the nation could be the key to securing Democratic victory in 2024.

Voter registration is top of mind during this 2024 election cycle. Our country has nearly 74M unregistered voters, and it is important to engage with as many people as possible to get them involved in the civic process. Expanding the electorate is the best way to build a comprehensive progressive coalition to overcome voter suppression in 2024 and beyond.

The Current State of Voter Registration

To understand the urgency, it is essential to examine the changes in voter registration over the past four years. In 2020, there were 175M registered voters. By 2024, this number had risen to 186M. However, only 157M of these records are currently up-to-date in the voter file. This highlights a significant number of potential voters who have not been effectively engaged or whose information requires updating. On average, 25% of the voter file changes in any given district between election cycles. When coupled with the 74M unregistered voters, there is a clear path to victory when engaging these populations.

Several factors contribute to this registration challenge:

  • Democrats tend to move more frequently, necessitating updates to their registration status

  • Young voter engagement is crucial, as new generations reach voting age and need to be incorporated into the electorate

  • Republicans have been outpacing Democrats in voter registration efforts, further widening the gap

The bottom line is clear: Democrats need to ramp up their voter registration efforts to win in 2024. The voter file is incomplete, and without addressing this, the party risks falling behind. The stakes are high, and the need for a strategic, targeted approach has never been more critical.

Anti-democratic forces have worked with surgical precision to pass a range of state laws deliberately designed to make registering to vote and voting harder for certain Americans - primarily low-income people, young people, and people of color, the “New American Majority.”

Voter registration programs expand the electorate, ensuring no voter is left behind. Every registered voter can shape their government and help make it reflective of the communities they serve.

The Advantages of Registering Voters Early

Running a voter registration program 12-18 months before an election significantly boosts registration and turnout rates. However, even with just five months remaining, there is still ample time to make a substantial impact.

  • More time to communicate with voters: Starting the dialogue with potential voters months in advance helps understand the issues that matter to them and boosts enthusiasm and voter turnout.

  • Millions of potential voters turn 18 every year: On average, almost four million people turn 18 each year. Reaching out to young people as soon as they are eligible to register ensures they are included in the electoral process.

  • Movers may not be registered at their new address: Approximately 40 million people, or about 13% of the population, move each year. Reaching out to these movers is crucial for finding potentially unregistered voters, many of whom have previously supported progressive causes. Encouraging them to update their voter registration at their new address re-engages them in the electoral process.

  • Manage mail and postage costs: Starting early and locking in rates helps plan budgets and likely saves money. Vendors offer more room for discounts to organizations that lock in pricing earlier in the cycle.

Civitech's Strategic Approach

Civitech's strategy focuses on connecting with previously unreachable individuals - citizens who are not registered to vote and are often excluded from traditional political outreach lists and directories – including the voter file. These individuals are usually left out of nearly all communications, making Civitech's efforts vital in expanding the electorate and raising marginalized voices.

  • Identifying Untapped Voter Records
    We have developed and meticulously maintain a proprietary database that allows us to identify tens of millions of potential voters who have been overlooked in previous outreach efforts.

  • Expanding the Electorate
    By focusing on unregistered likely Democratic voters, we are able to mitigate the registration disadvantage and strengthen the Democratic voter base. This approach not only helps to balance the scales but also ensures that more citizens can exercise their right to vote.

  • Raising Marginalized Voices
    Ensuring that underrepresented groups have a voice in the electoral process is a priority. By reaching out to these communities, we help ensure that their needs and perspectives are represented in the political landscape.

  • Enhancing GOTV Efficiency
    Our targeted approach makes Get Out The Vote (GOTV) efforts more effective and cost-efficient. By focusing resources on likely Democratic voters, the overall impact of GOTV campaigns is maximized, leading to higher voter turnout and engagement.

Our impact in the 2020 election is a testament to the effectiveness of our approach. Over 800,000 unique recipients of our mailers registered for the general election. Recipients of these mailers were 15% more likely to register to vote and 25% more likely to turn out and vote. Remarkably, 85% of those who registered using our tools turned out and voted.

In critical states like Georgia, Arizona, and Wisconsin, we’ve helped add 140K net new voters to the process. These are places where small margins can make a significant difference, demonstrating the power of targeted voter registration efforts.


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Register more voters with Civitech’s intelligent, trackable solutions

Civitech voter registration is the most advanced and affordable direct mail program to register new voters, give them the necessary resources to cast their vote, and engage them on issues that matter to them — like abortion rights, ending gun violence, education, the economy, and more.

Why Democrats Can’t Win in 2024 Without Voter Registration

As progressives, we care about a fair and inclusive democracy. When we invest in voter registration, we are aligning our resources with our values. We run voter registration campaigns to win elections today and in the future. Election cycles in recent years have shown the power and impact of organizing everywhere. States and districts that many had written off as too red or conservative have shown us the power of voter registration and turnout.

In many districts and states, there are not enough registered voters for Democrats to win, which is a big challenge. We need to expand the electorate - with a focus on the New American Majority - to take back the U.S. House, hold the U.S. Senate and Presidency, take back state legislatures, and elect mayors and local elected officials that have the same values as the communities they represent. We can build a long-term framework for progressive turnout by creating new, lifelong, habitual voters through voter registration.

How to Run a Voter Registration Campaign Through the Mail

Voter registration by mail is the easiest and most cost-effective way to register new voters. While expanding the electorate might seem intimidating to tackle, voter registration by mail is more efficient and affordable than traditional voter registration methods.

We recommend coupling your in-person canvassing strategy with targeted mail programs. Your time investment goes further by creating and sending mailers that can reach far more people than traditional methods. By focusing on likely Democrats, you can target your efforts and save money while still achieving extensive outreach. Additionally, targeting the right potential voters becomes easier with data-driven mail campaigns. Data analysis and modeling help identify voters in the specific precinct, district, city, county, or state you're focused on, predicting partisanship or issue scores that align with your party, candidate, or overall values.

Steps to a Successful Mail-Based Voter Registration Campaign

  1. Create targeted universes: Civitech can help you identify your potential voter base and determine the size of your target universe. Focus on engaging individuals such as movers, those aging into the electorate, and the unregistered voting-age population.

  2. Craft compelling mailers: Civitech can help you design impactful mailers with best practices, such as incorporating social pressure elements, expressing urgency, and highlighting the simplicity of the registration process.

  3. Print and mail: We package the data with trackable barcodes, inserts, and forms, and send them to the print house for mailing.

  4. Track and engage: Use a comprehensive mail dashboard to track every piece of mail and follow up with recipients through multiple channels.

  5. Evaluate and learn: Assess and reflect on the results of your campaign to continuously improve. Checking voter registration lists after the election helps determine success, though it may take months to update.

Tips for Maximizing Impact

  • Plan early: Begin planning a voter registration campaign at least three months before the registration deadline.

  • Think about the entire registration and turnout process: Utilize additional methods like texting to follow up with voters and create touchpoints for conversation.

  • Set goals and expectations based on the target universe: Recognize that some unregistered voters will be easier to reach and convince than others.

With the 2024 election upon us, the need for effective voter registration efforts is more urgent than ever. Civitech's data-driven, targeted approach provides a blueprint for success. By identifying untapped voter records, expanding the electorate, raising marginalized voices, and enhancing GOTV efficiency, Civitech is your partner in addressing the voter registration gap.

As we move forward, it is vital for progressive campaigns, organizations, and volunteers to collaborate and leverage these strategies. The challenge is significant, but with a concerted effort, it is possible to close the registration gap and ensure a fair and representative election.

A Call to Action

This election is not just another political contest; it is a critical juncture that will shape the future of American democracy. The Democratic Party faces a significant registration gap, but this challenge is not insurmountable. With a strategic, data-driven approach, there is a clear path forward.

By focusing on unregistered voters, expanding the electorate, and ensuring that marginalized voices are heard, Democrats can not only close the gap but also build a stronger, more representative democracy. The stakes are high, and the need for action is immediate. This is not just about winning an election; it is about ensuring that every citizen has a voice in the democratic process.

The message is clear: we must act now. Registering new voters is the key to success in 2024. It requires dedication, collaboration, and a commitment to reaching every potential voter. The future of our democracy depends on it. Together, we can close the voter registration gap and ensure a brighter, more inclusive future for all. Reach out if you'd like to talk strategy!

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