Campaigns Know If You’ve Voted -- And That’s Not All

Oct 22, 2012

In this era of mail-in balloting, political campaigns have become a bit like Santa Claus: he may know if you’ve been bad or good, but they know whether you’ve voted yet or not - and who you’re likely to support.

At Thurston County Democratic Party headquarters, volunteers work the phones calling likely voters. They are trying to remind people to vote for Democrats in the down-ballot races.

There’s nothing new about political phone banks. But what is different is just how sophisticated a profile these campaigns now have on you, the voter.

And they even know when you cast your ballot.

Randy Pepple manages Republican Rob McKenna’s campaign for governor. Pepple explains that each day leading up to the election, county auditors release a list of voters who have returned their ballots.

He explains that they “take those lists and compare them to the voter lists that we have compiled.”

This helps campaigns know who to call and who not to call. But it’s even more sophisticated than that. Campaigns now use marketing and demographic data to identify subsets of voters and target them with last-minute persuasion messages.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network