How do I get voter data for my political campaign?
One of the most important questions that you need to ask at the beginning of your run for office is where you will access voter data? The options in most countries are limited to electoral registers or voter files compiled by your political party. However, in the United States the options are broader and more comprehensive as there are voter data vendors who can provide very detailed information on voters.
Here at Ecanvasser our clients nearly always use voter data sourced from third party providers (more on them in a minute) to fill out their voter database in advance of reaching out to voters either on the doorstep or at events. This benefits the campaign greatly by giving them access to good-quality information about voters and allowing them to target voters effectively.
Who are the voter data providers?
L2 voter data
L2 has been operating for over 40 years delivering high quality voter files to a variety of campaigns and political technology platforms like ourselves. L2 is a non-partisan provider and does not work for political party interests. It provides data across the US and is an affordable option for any campaign looking for data.
NationBuilder provides free data for anyone who is running for office. This data is more basic than paid vendor options but it can be sufficient for running a campaign. It should have information on names and addresses that will allow you to being voter outreach and database management.
Aristotle is another provider of voter data that is non-partisan and similar to L2 in the quality and depth of the information.
There are a huge variety of vendors of voter data at a partisan level also in the US so it might be worth checking that out with your party officials.
The quality of political data is something that comes up regularly with our clients, particularly when they are accessing this data from party sources for free. Our recommendation is to use non-partisan vendors as the data quality is better. It is also important to remember that political data needs to be treated in the strictest confidence and should never be misused to unfairly target voters. The fair treatment of voter data by political campaigns is critical for the continued integrity of the democratic process.
How much does voter data cost?
The rule of thumb with voter data is that it costs in the region of 2.5-4.5 cent per record (per voter) depending on the level of information attached to each voter. This can obviously get expensive if you are accessing hundreds of thousands of voters but it is the basis of your campaign work and might be a non-negotiable element for that reason.
What type of information is attached in political data?
This varies greatly from vendor to vendor and depending on how much you are willing to pay. Obviously, name, address, contact information such as phone numbers and email are basics of voter data. More complete records include voting history, voting districting, party affiliation, opinion markers and so on.
If you need voter data we can provide that for you in conjunction with our partners at no extra cost to you. Our customers find it better to have us import the data for them so they do not have to purchase or manipulate it correctly for import. Let us know if you would like this when you are signing up.