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Madi Eden
Feb 28 2024Success Stories

Texas Candidate Expands Electorate with Effective Voter Registration Program

Candidate Madi Eden ran as a Democrat in the conservative Texas House District 17 with the goal of registering new likely Democratic voters. Eden ran targeted voter registration programs with an incredibly efficient registration rate of 44%, ultimately registering more than 1,500 new voters. While Eden did not win her race, she made great strides toward a more diverse electorate in a seemingly conservative district. 


Texas is the second-largest state in the U.S. and is one of the toughest states to cast a ballot. Because of barriers to registration and voting, more than 4.1 million Texans are eligible to vote but remain unregistered. Similar to other states, the folks most left out of the electoral process are young people, people of color, and people moving within the state or into the state from other places. Reaching out to unregistered voters in Texas could make the state competitive again; a Democrat hasn’t won statewide since the early 1990s.


In 2018, several Texas state house seats had flipped from red to blue, and the Eden campaign thought there was an opportunity to win the seat by registering likely Democrats.

In order to turn out voters and potentially flip the red Texas House District 17, the Eden campaign leadership knew they would have to first find and register Democrats. While the campaign started registration and outreach in 2019, reaching potential voters grew even more challenging after the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020. Finding a contact-free way to reach voters became paramount for the campaign.


The Eden campaign partnered with Civitech to locate unregistered voters with our PIR Database and register those folks to vote via the mail, using our proprietary targeting and outreach system.

After identifying potentially unregistered voters in the district, we mailed them a voter registration form with important information on how to fill it out and return the form. Because folks often don’t own a printer or have stamps on hand, we provided already printed forms with return envelopes complete with postage.

We’ve found that multiple reminders help increase the registration rate, so the campaign also followed up with the people in various ways, including sending postcards, phone calls, texting, door-to-door canvassing when it was safe, and literature drops.

The Eden campaign focused on incorporating voter registration into all tactics they did, given the importance of registering voters who don’t usually participate in elections. While many campaigns don’t budget for voter registration, it was essential to Eden’s campaign.


Eden faced a tricky district makeup and did not win the election. However, the campaign’s efforts had an impressive effect on the area's voter registration rates, which has now positively impacted future elections as well. The registration campaigns were also highly efficient.

While exclusively relying upon in-person registration can bring in a small percentage of registrations as compared to those asked, the targeted mail programs averaged an incredible 44% registration rate.

Phase One (2019)

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The campaign mailed registration forms to more than 2,300 people, and more than 1,100 returned the forms, an almost 50% registration rate. Of those who registered, more than 70% voted in 2020, and 45% voted in 2022. 

  • 2,362 potential voters mailed
  • 1,117 people registered by general election (47.29% registration rate)
  • 797 of those who registered also voted in 2020 (71.35% turnout rate)
  • 496 of those who registered voted in 2022 (44.4% turnout rate)


Phase Two (2020)

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In 2020, the campaign mailed more than 1,100 people and registered 435 folks, an almost 40% registration rate. Of the group who registered, 65% voted in 2020, and 39% voted in 2022. 

  • 1,128 potential voters mailed
  • 435 registered in time for the general election (38.56% registration rate), which was 9 points better than the control group
  • 283 of those who registered also voted in 2020 (65% turnout)
  • 169 of those who registered voted in 2022 (38.85% turnout)


Electing a new generation of leadership in Texas starts with running programs like this. Engaging with voters in traditionally red districts can lead to great results for progressive causes and Democratic candidates, especially when candidates use targeted voter registration. 

We look forward to seeing how similar efforts can make a positive change because local races can help expand the electorate and continue to turn out folks for future elections.

By the Numbers

  • Total registrations: 1,552

  • Registration rate (average): 44%

  • Registration rate (phase 1): 47%

  • Registration rate (phase 2): 39%

  • Voters in 2020: 1,080

  • Voters in 2022: 665

“Civitech was a true partner in voter registration for my campaign. The company’s PIR database and targeted registration program made it possible for me to reach likely Democratic voters in my district while staying within my budget. I am eager to see other candidates contact potentially unregistered voters and continue to expand the electorate in traditionally red areas.”

Madi Eden, former candidate for Texas House District 17

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