In recent years, the voter turnout in the United States has shown as one of the lowest in the world. As cited in one study, among 20 countries evaluated globally, 18 out of 20 countries have 90% voter registration rates compared to the U.S. that only recorded less than 70% voter turnout. Ever since, the U.S. government has implemented several approaches to persuade American electorates to go out and vote. Registration policies have been modified so people can easily register. Also, several media platforms are used as social media and mass texting to send reminders to vote.
Encouraging People to Vote
Every election season the problem lingers on how to convince the under-represented groups in the U.S. to participate and increase voter turnout. These individuals include people of color, low-income or marginalized Americans, persons with disabilities, and the new registrants (youth) or first-time voters. Collectively, they are part of the entire system that slips away in the democratic process, causing low American voter registration.
The Missing Link
This silent minority is a vital link to the American electoral process. With their engagement during elections, this can increase the U.S. voter turnout while reducing the gap between these under-represented groups. In turn, this ensures a more complete picture to identify the pulse and mindset of the American population as a nation. Below are some of the popular approaches for increasing U.S. voter turnout.
Canvassing or Directly Talking to Communities. This is recognized as the most common way to convince people to vote. This is where volunteers or paid canvassers are standing by in the streets. They are either talking to passers-by or visiting their neighborhood door-to-door and spreading information about the elections. They encourage people to register and vote.
Research has shown that one in 14 people visited by a canvasser will vote using this approach. Canvassing is proven most effective in increasing voter turnout among African American communities. As seen, this system increased voter turnout by around 7% to 14%. Also, it is proven effective for new voters.
SMS Texting. For political candidates, SMS texting is widely used in campaigns to spread their candidates’ platforms. If political candidates are not texting their target voters, then they might be at the losing end. Regarding contacting voters, texting is a vital means to reach out to the people. For some voters, it is very annoying receiving a voice call from any poll agency encouraging them to register. Unlike today, many are amenable to reading a text and conveniently responding to it in their own time without any pressure.
Also, text messages should be sent by an actual person instead of a spambot to increase messages’ readability and reliability. Although text messages need a human being to hit send, they are still more efficient compared to voice calls.
Texting canvassers can assist to boost voter turnout by employing the traditional text processing. This involves a sense of urgency in drafting their message. A vote text reminder with some urgency-sounding message can bring people to go out and vote on election day.
Register Online. When voters are clueless where to go and what to do to register, these issues add to low voter turnout. For first-time voters, they are the population who are unaware of how things go and what to do. Also, residents who transfer to different cities as their new homes find it difficult to identify where to register. In dealing with these issues, online registration can be a convenient way to increase voter turnout.
Automatic Registration. In most American states, they implement an automatic registration through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). As applicants are issued a driver’s license, this serves a dual purpose of being automatically registered as a voter of that specific state. In 2016, Oregon first launched this system. This led to about 272,000 new registrants. However, only 98,000 voters participated in the 2016 national elections.
Same-Day Registration. Another way to increase voter turnout is by allowing voters to register on election day. As people watch news coverage while their loved ones, friends, and colleagues prepare to vote, they may be encouraged to take part in the polls but have not registered yet. Enabling them to do so can help increase voter turnout.
Send Sample Ballots. For the young, new registrants or first-time voters, the voting process may be tricky or confusing for them, especially the procedure of identifying who to vote for. For such cases, sending a sample ballot via snail mail can assist them to better understand the voting process. This eases them in deciding beforehand who to vote for and how the voting procedure works.
Social Pressure. In 2006, social pressure was introduced as part of a study in the Michigan primary election. Over the years, this has been widely accepted to increase voter turnout. In a study, the recipients received a mail that their participation in the polls would be treated as part of public record. This would show that their neighbors would be informed whether they voted or not. The voter turnout soared by almost 8%.
Instantly Getting Your Political Messages For most political candidates wanting to reach thousands of potential voters to know their platforms, personal agenda, and vision when elected as government officials, they use innovative technologies to spread their views via instant messaging platforms like Robocent’s robocalls.
A robocall is like any call that employs an automated dialer to send a pre-recorded message to an intended recipient. Robocalls are usually used for communicating political or telemarketing campaigns via phone. Also, these may be employed for public-service or emergency notices.
During the polls season, legit robocalls are sent by political parties. The main goal is to influence the voting public to choose one party over another or in some cases, solicit donations. The Federal Communications Commission legally approves the use of political robocalls.
Other Uses of Robocalls
Other instances robocalls are used include notifications regarding canceled flights or changes in airline schedules, reminders of doctor or dental appointments, class suspensions or school emergencies, and credit card fraud notices. Robocalls may also be used by non-profit organizations and charitable institutions. Most of these robocalls are legit in nature, yet some may be used in illegal and fraudulent purposes. So be careful when receiving these automated calls.
Political Robocalls as an Election Tool
Political robocalling software, as provided by Robocent, is an instant and cost-effective means to reaching out to your target voters and promoting your any candidate’s platforms. Political robocalls are an ideal canvassing device for several campaigns when reaching out to thousands of supporters, despite being strapped for needed machinery. Here are some ways on how you, as a political candidate, can take advantage of Robocent’s services like robocalls.
1 Voter sentiment assessment
In any political campaign, it is critical to know what your voters value. Poll surveys are an effective way to collect statistics on specific issues that the public care about. Your political robocall can be used to take a survey that enables your potential voters to directly share their sentiments using their dial-pads. Through a series of multiple-choice questions, you can get insights on the voters’ views on the elections. With dynamic call lists, voters can instantly be added to the current list based on their responses.
2 Instant responses
Political robocalls are usually pre-taped conversations, where recorded messages are sent to the voters. By pressing certain numbers from 0 to 9, this enables voters to provide feedback to specific issues. Also, they may opt to talk to a live volunteer or record a voicemail. This allows getting instant responses regarding voters’ sentiments on any issues.
3 Ensure voter engagement
Through a preset number dialing, voters can talk to a designated volunteer support team for a one-on-one conversation. Most advanced political robocalling software enables you to control the dialing number of individuals on your calling list and send a call in one broadcast. Although a reminder regarding a set rally can be sent to thousands of supporters instantly, you can also do a return dial to your broadcasts using a press-1 campaign for potential voter grievances that may need direct contact with voters.
4 Immediate broadcast or calls
These include calls to action, invites to fundraisers, and other vital campaign updates. All these can be instantly sent to thousands of supporters via voice broadcasting platform. Simply upload your call list into your broadcast dashboard and all systems go.
5 Customized calls
Dynamic calls lists enable your political campaign to right away assign voters to various call lists based on their survey responses. This makes political messages to have optimized call lists that have personalized responses for specific issues. Voters may opt to be removed from the called list automatically. This ensures that those interested to be part of your broadcasts will be the ones to benefit and receive them.
6 Conversion analysis
Real-time reports and call analytics identify how well a voice campaign performs. Campaign reports provide you numbers on how many people the campaign has reached and their responses. Also, these reports can assist campaign managers in understanding people’s behavior in multiple days and in optimizing the campaign outreach strategies.
As campaigners do their best to increase voter turnout, several tactics must be in place to make the registration and campaign activities more convenient and effective, respectively. Also, active canvassing through in-person contact, text, more interactive initiatives and political robocalls can be an effective means to drive voters to go out on election day.