WASHINGTON — All Voting is Local today launched a campaign to text more than a million voters at risk of having their registrations wrongfully purged from their states’ voter rolls. The text message campaign, which will start in Arizona, Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin aims to get voters back on the rolls while also testing messages to determine the most effective ways to encourage people to take action.
“Voter purges unfairly strip away the rights of voters, sow the seeds of confusion, and keep eligible voters from making their voices heard,” said Hannah Fried, National Campaign Director for All Voting is Local. “Our goal is to not only reach voters who have been purged or are in the pipeline to be purged, but to get ahead of this problem before they are kicked off the rolls to begin with. We’ve tested this type of campaign, and we know that when voters are informed that their right to vote is at risk of being taken away, they act. ”
Voters in the four states are receiving text messages directing them to their states’ voter registration websites to check their registrations.
Nationwide, millions of voters were prevented from voting in 2018 due to wrongful voter purges, voter registrations rejected without cause, and ballots that were cast but never counted. Between 2016 and 2018, 17 million people were purged from voter rolls.
AVL’s multistate text campaign is part of state and county advocacy to track rejected voter registration applications and get voters back on the rolls.
- In 2018, All Voting is Local sent text messages to more than 380,000 voters in Ohio who were in the pipeline to be purged from the voter rolls. More than 62,000 voters contacted – or around 1-in-6 – updated their registration and cast a ballot on Election Day.
- In September 2019, Ohio was set to purge 235,000 voters. Due to efforts by voting rights groups including All Voting is Local, nearly 40,000 of those registrations were prevented from being purged.
- In December, a Wisconsin judge ordered the purge of more than 200,000 voters from the rolls, although the action is currently on hold due to legal challenges. All Voting is Local is planning to text those voters as part of a broader campaign in that state, which includes running radio ads urging voters there to check their voter registrations.
Voters in the four states will receive one of two messages. The text messages read as follows:
- “VoterName, Ron here from All Voting is Local. It’s your right to register & vote free of intimidation. Voting is always secret. Register: [Link to state’s voter registration website]”
- “VoterName, Ron here from All Voting is Local. Your vote is private but your registration status is public. Check your status & register here: [Link to state’s voter registration website] ”