CEO Update: Mary Trump wants you to read this.

Sent as an email on September 14, 2020
Subject line: Come hang out with Mary Trump

Mary Trump, PhD, best selling author.

Hey friend,

50 days until the election, 15 days until the first debate (which may or may not happen), and so many fun things going on with VoteAmerica. But I’ll start with Mary Trump, since that’s probably what you all want to hear about.

Mary Trump is hosting VoteAmerica’s next virtual fundraiser. Yes, that Mary Trump.

  • Mary Trump is Donald Trump’s niece. She penned a book about her famous uncle called “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man” which is currently a best-seller. She’s graciously agreed to host a virtual fundraiser for us this week.
  • When: Thursday, September 17, 2020.
  • Time: 7pm ET and 4pm PT
  • RSVP here:
  • The event is free, but you have to RSVP. And you should, because Mary Trump is an objectively interesting human, and I think we all want to hear what she has to say.

If you stop reading here, I won’t blame you, but you should keep reading since there are so many awesome things going on at VoteAmerica.

Campus program update

  • Our campus program launched on 140 schools in 6 states and we’re scaling up from there.
  • We’re also running a parallel program targeting students at HBCUs, regardless of which state those schools are in. We launched on 7 schools, and we are working on raising the funds to go live on all 94 HBCUs.
  • We are investing in HBCUs because students on these campuses have been criminally neglected for decades now. The difference between a “competitive state” and a “noncompetitive state” is how much money folks are willing to invest. HBCUs tend to be in states with a higher percentage of black citizens, and if those states aren’t yet competitive, it’s because no one is investing funds. But we’re playing a long game here at VoteAmerica, so we’re going to zig where other folks zag. You’ll thank us in a few years, promise.
  • Our campus program has historically increased turnout between 2 percentage points and 6 percentage points. This is battle tested, scalable, and honestly, a really fun program.

P2P SMS update

  • Our P2P SMS program launched on September 9 with 850,000 outgoing messages, and we’re now sending well over 1 million messages a day. 1 million messages a day is a lot of messages. The first time I ran a P2P program, it took me 3 weeks to send 1 million messages. Now our team does that in a single day, and we’re going to scale up from here.
  • Why does this matter? Because P2P SMS is a great way to expand the electorate during a pandemic. It’s as close as we can come to face-to-face outreach, and while it will never replace field-based outreach, it’s the best alternative we have right now.
  • We’re on track to sending 100 million P2P SMS messages this year. We’re going to use P2P as part of five core programs. One, voter registration. Two, vote by mail recruitment. Three, vote by mail ballot chase. Four, Election Day registration. Five, post-election ballot curing.
  • As part of our P2P based outreach, we’re going to do something that is objectively a bit insane, but there’s no sense in working in voter engagement if you’re not going to be a bit insane. We’re going to text at least 2 million unregistered Texans — all young people and people of color — and encourage them to register to vote. If only 1% respond, that will still be 20,000 new voters. But all of our past experiments have shown that the response rate will be closer to 7 or 8%, which means 140,000–160,000 new voters in a state that works triple time to keep people from registering to vote.
  • Which brings me to our next program…

Print and mail program update

  • Texas doesn’t have online voter registration, and Texas doesn’t have online voter registration because Texas doesn’t want people to register to vote. Which means that 100% of Texans need to register to vote on paper. Which is a real clusterfuck, since home printer ownership has been in the low single digits for a decade now. (And even if you have a printer, it’s doubtful that it has ink).
  • Asking people to print and mail forms is an insidious form of voter suppression, but it’s problem that can be solved with technology.
  • The VoteAmerica tech team solved this problem by building an integration with has a print-and-mail API; by leveraging their API, VoteAmerica can now print and mail on demand to individual voters, in real time.
  • We turned this on in Texas last week, and 2,000 voters have already used it. This is super exciting.
  • So now we’re raising funds to turn this on in more states, for both voter registration and vote by mail applications.
  • It only costs us $1.50 to print and mail a pre-filled form — and a pre-addressed and stamped return envelope — to a voter who needs one. This is so blindingly cost effective that I honestly and truly wish we had the money to do this for everyone who needs it. But in 2020, we’re going to focus on voters in critical states as a pilot, before scaling up next year.

Partnerships update

  • Our partnership with has gone live. If you login to the CreditKarma platform, you will encounter a robust voter engagement workflow. The data comes directly from the VoteAmerica API, and our tools are integrated with their platform. Ultimately this partnership will send millions of people through the VoteAmerica tools, which is just bananas.
  • Our partnership with has also gone live. Techsoup is a nonprofit organization that works with every software company under the sun to provide heavily discounted software to NGOs. They are actively promoting the VoteAmerica toolset to their 1.3 million US-based NGOs. This partnership went live this morning, and we’re already seeing dozens of new signups. (In case you’ve forgotten, 501(c)(3) organizations get a 100% discount on the toolset — just send folks to to sign up)
  • Speaking of free tools: anyone can use the tools for free, regardless of tax-status, by using the embed code on this page: You only have to pay if you need access to the data that comes in via your instance of the toolset. Most groups don’t need this, so if you run something cool, and you want to help increase voter turnout, you should grab the embed code from that page. Embedding our tools is as easy as embedding a Youtube video.

How can you help?

  • We have the team, the expertise, the ambition, the drive, and now we’re raising capital to scale the program.
  • If you’d like to donate less than $1,000, please use this link:
  • If you’d like to donate more than $1,000, please email finance
  • If you have questions, please reach out to me or Justin.



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