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May 17 2024Success Stories

Ohio Reproductive Justice Group Registers Voters for Abortion Ballot Initiative

The Ohio Women’s Alliance Action Fund shows up for their communities to protect abortion rights and reproductive freedom for all Ohioans. Following two major developments in the abortion rights battle, the organization reached out to Ohio residents using a multi-channel voter registration program. The organization used data, mail, and texting to identify, engage, and register new voters ahead of important elections, as well as educate existing voters on updated voter I.D. laws and updating registrations to expand the Ohio electorate. 


The Ohio Women’s Alliance Action Fund is a 501(c4) organization that builds capacity for women, femmes, and gender-expansive folks—particularly Black women—to determine the lives they want for themselves, their families, and their communities through the electoral process. The Action Fund is associated with the 501(c3) organization, the Ohio Women’s Alliance, which is a power-building reproductive justice organization providing programming, resources, and education throughout Ohio.


In 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization case and left women and gender-nonconforming folks without the ability to make healthcare decisions for their own bodies. 

The Dobbs decision paved the way for enforcing a contentious 2019 Ohio law. Governor Mike DeWine had signed a six-week abortion ban, which did not include exceptions for rape or incest. However, the law faced immediate legal challenges and remained unenforceable until the Dobbs decision in 2022. With a highly restrictive abortion ban and no exceptions in place, in a post-Roe Ohio, care providers scrambled to make decisions, and many patients had to go out of state for abortion care. 

In 2022, the Ohio Women’s Alliance Action Fund wanted to reach those potentially impacted by the restrictive law and register them to vote in crucial local and statewide elections. 

Later on, in 2023, the organization wanted to again reach values aligned folks and register them to vote for the statewide Reproductive Freedom Amendment, called Issue 1, to enshrine in Ohio’s constitution the right to abortion care up to a certain point in pregnancy, as well as the right to access contraception, miscarriage care, fertility treatment, and the full spectrum of reproductive rights. 


Following the Dobbs decision in 2022, the Ohio Women’s Alliance Action Fund worked with Civitech to send voter registration mail encouraging potentially unregistered voters to join the voter rolls. Using language specific to abortion rights, the organization focused on registering women of color who had recently moved into targeted Ohio Congressional districts.

Abortion rights continued to be an important and energizing issue in Ohio elections in 2023. With the Issue 1 ballot initiative on the ballot for November 2023, the Ohio Women’s Alliance Action Fund once again reached out to potentially unregistered voters who care about abortion access. The organization wanted to use the momentum of the 2022 registration program to register more voters and ensure they knew where to vote ahead of Election Day. 


The Ohio Women’s Alliance Action Fund worked with Civitech to create a multi-channel voter registration program to identify and engage new voters — then register and get them to the polls.

Voter registration mail and data

With abortion rights on the line, the group chose a key group using Civitech’s unregistered data sets that was interested and motivated by the issue. 

In 2022, the group focused on women of color in Congressional Districts 9 and 13 who were potentially unregistered, including those who had never registered or had moved and not updated their registration. In 2023, the Ohio Women’s Alliance Action Fund broadened their list to any women of color in Ohio age 49 or younger who were potentially unregistered.  

The Civitech team designed custom mail inserts with messaging related to reproductive and abortion rights, encouraging voters to register and vote on the critical local issue. We sent folks pre-filled voter registration forms to make the registration process easier. Plus, the mail was personalized with images relevant to the audience. 

Text follow-up with TextOut

We used our peer-to-peer texting software, TextOut, to follow up with voters to remind them to submit their voter registration forms and answer any questions they might have.


Overall, the programs to register pro-choice voters in Ohio were successful. Ohio's Reproductive Freedom Amendment passed overwhelmingly by 56.6% of voters in November 2023. The work the Ohio Women’s Alliance Action Fund did to register voters helped enshrine protections for a range of reproductive care, including abortion access, in the state constitution. 

The program registered 3,323 people in total, which is an 11.56% registration rate on average, a more efficient process than traditional in-person voter registration. The registration rate was impressive for a non-presidential election year and showed voters' enthusiasm for reproductive rights. 

The overall process was also less resource-intensive for the organization as Civitech handled the design, mailing, follow-up, and analysis for the organization, as well as the text follow-up.

The voter registration program helped emphasize lessons and best practices for voter registration: 

  • The more channels we contact potential voters with, the better the results. The combination of mail and text chase helped increase the registration rate for the program

  • Registering voters by focusing on a specific, motivating issue (such as abortion rights) helped boost enthusiasm and participation in election years when turnout can trend lower

With a conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court and a split U.S. Congress, state-level abortion protections are a crucial defense against attacks on reproductive rights. 

By the Numbers


  • 28,753 pieces of mail delivered 

  • 3,323 people registered (11.56% registration rate)

  • 1,303 of those who registered also voted the same year they registered (39.21% average voter turnout across the two years)


  • 7,716 pieces of mail delivered

  • 2,032 people registered (26.3% registration rate)

  • 752 of those who registered also voted that year (37% voter turnout)

  • Focused on Ohio Congressional districts 9 and 13


  • 21,037 pieces of mail delivered

  • 1,291 people registered (6.14% registration rate)

  • 551 of those who registered also voted that year (43% voter turnout)

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