Little Rock In recent months I have been on a weekly voting call focusing on stopping voter suppression and increasing turnout in the US election on November 3rd. Some of the participants with voter registrations in battleground states complain from time to time about the daily deluge of texts coming their way. Living in a deep red state, I would say, nada para me, no one cares how we vote in Louisiana, because it’s a foregone conclusion. We’re not Georgia or Florida, we’re DEEP SOUTH. Think, Mississippi and Alabama, our Gulf state neighbors.
This week was different though. I finally got several texts. MoveOn.org wanted to raise $2 million and must have bought my number somehow. Another one wanted me to vote. The third was from a group called Vote-Tripling.org. I vote absentee. Given how much I travel, or at least used to travel pre-pandemic, I have voted absentee in all elections for years now. They thanked me for voting. I welcomed that information, although I wonder how they might have obtained it, but it meant that my brothers and sisters at the post office had rushed my ballot through to the proper sources, and it was being counted, which is reassuring. One of my colleagues told me in Florida when you vote by mail, you get an acknowledgement when the ballot is received and another when it was counted. Go Florida! We need that kind of transparency everywhere!
The text from Vote-Tripling.org wanted me reach out to three friends to make sure they were voting. We’re texting another 218,000 right now as part of the Voter Purge Project, so I think I’ve more than tripled, but I was curious about this outfit because it’s part of the current rage in using behavioral modification or nudges and “relational” organizing applied to voter identification and turnout. Some widely reported tests from 2018 and other recent elections have raved about the impact.
The Vote-Tripling.org website didn’t offer much of a clue about the outfit. The website was more a contact acquisition portal than an information source. They wanted you to email them so that you could get the information from their website, which you were already on and which didn’t provide any information other than that they were a Los Angeles-based nonprofit making free tools. I have to admit to some skepticism about an outfit that combines behavioral modification with no transparency, so I wouldn’t go there. A wider internet search indicated that they were also a political action committee and focused only on Democrats, so who knows? Another site called www.gainpower.org described them and “classic” vote tripling which aligned with my text and “polling place vote tripling” that caught people rolling off their vote and got them to agree to contact a threesome, claiming that test had established a 7% voter increase.
Hey, try it, you might like it, and every little bit helps!