Peer to peer messaging to register voters

In 2016, Brad A Schenck served as’s Head of Engagement and worked with founder and CEO Debra Cleave on a groundbreaking new program to program to use text messaging to register voters. The general premise was Debra had spent extensive amounts of time researching voter registration methods and costs.

In 2016 voter registration costs were:

▶ Mail-based outreach: $18 on average for net new registration
▶ Site-based outreach: $25 on average per net new registration

▶ Online-outreach: $94 on average per net new registration

▶ Door-to-door canvassing: $715 on average per net new registration

And we new a lot about the methods others were going to be focused on:




What about SMS?

From August to election day we scaled up a team of 100 people and contacted over 900,000 unregistered voters, here is a recent talk in Toronto on the project and peer to peer messaging.


More stats on the program and in the 2016 cycle

▶ Pioneered the first-ever SMS based voter registration drive.  Contacted 900,000 unregistered people of color under 40
▶ 2.9% conversion rate
▶ Registered 26,000+ voters
▶ This cost was close to the cost of mail (which is currently the most cost-effective)


Over 1 MILLION peer-to-peer GOTV messages on election day alone.


▶ 6.5 million site visitors to the website

▶ 3.9 million contacted via peer-to-peer SMS outreach (6.3 million messages sent)

▶ 1.3 million checked their registration status using our tools

▶ 860,000 ordered their absentee ballots using our tools

▶ 666,000 registered to vote using our tools

1.9 million person email list

▶ 1.1 million person SMS list

▶ Our users are 60% female, 52% millennial


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