What It’s All About
We write postcards to progressive voters to get out the vote in campaigns across the US. Examples: Writing to registered Democrats in Florida to encourage them to sign up for Vote By Mail (which hugely increases turnout and helps D candidates up and down the ballot); writing to newly-registered progressive voters in Federal Way to encourage them to vote in the August primary (developing their “voting muscles” for future elections).
Between March 1 and Oct 25, 2020 our group completed 45,000 postcards and 11,500 letters. Then we wrote another 7,000 postcards and letters to Georgia voters for the January 5, 2021 runoff election.
If you’re writing right now Log your postcarding activity at bit.ly/PCALog – we report out group writing activity monthly.
Ready to Jump In?
The first step is getting supplies. You’ll need postcards, stamps, addresses of voters, and a script or suggested messages. Correction tape or WiteOut is helpful. Colorful pens are fun but optional.
Where to Get Postcards and Postage
- We are happy to provide you with a starter set of cards, then you should order directly from your preferred source. If you’d like to pick up postcards from North Kirkland, or South Bellevue please email us. We can connect you with one of our volunteers to arrange a no-contact pickup at a mutually agreeable time. A contribution of $15 per set of 100 cards is suggested but we don’t want to make that be a barrier to you getting involved; just let us know.
- Some organizations will supply you with their own postcards and you supply just the stamps. See below under Where to Get Addresses.
- Buy postcards at the Postcards to Voters Official Etsy Store.
- Buy postcards from MyPostcard.com.
- Buy postcards at Etsy.com. The ones with vintage stamps already attached usually cost less than the value of the postage on them.
- When you buy postcards, please make sure that they are neutral and non-partisan – no pictures of blue waves allowed. Most campaigns don’t want us to use anything that implies ‘Democrat’.
- Use templates from Postcards to Voters to print your own at home on cardstock. The USPS warns that thin, flimsy cards tend to get caught in mail processing equipment so make sure the cardstock is postcard weight.
- Postcard stamps ($0.35 each) are available from USPS. You can order online from their website or buy them in post offices, including many small in-store ones (for example, in the Bartell Drugs in Bridle Trails)
Where to Get Addresses and Scripts
Once you have supplies, you could contact one or more of the organizations below to sign up for a postcard-writing assignment. They will send you a list of addresses and instructions on what to write, usually by email. It can sometimes take a little while to receive your first addresses. If you want to get started right away, email us at email@example.com, or just email us whenever you need addresses. Please ask for only the number of addresses you can write to within one week.
- Postcards to Voters – This is the organization that started it all, with Tony the Democrat. For candidate postcards, these should be mailed promptly.
- The Georgia Postcard Project is still getting organized for these campaigns, but they will update their website when they are ready. You can also join their Facebook Group.
- Flip the West – Write postcards to Georgia voters.
Why should we write postcards? Does it work?
These are some of the benefits of writing postcards to voters:
- Provides a personal connection to the voter—this is more effective than impersonal methods like mass mailers and robocalls.
- Can boost turnout by roughly 1-6%, which can put a candidate in a close race over the top. (Statistics from Tony the Democrat of Postcards to Voters.)
- Is therapeutic to the writer!
- Check here for more details:
- Success stories from campaigns assisted by Postcards to Voters:
- Karen Gaddis, OK, 2017, State Rep: Won by 96 votes. This is in a district where Trump won with 63% of the vote in 2016.
- Kari Lerner, NH, 2017, State Rep: Won by 39 votes. Trump: 73%.
- Doug Jones, AL, 2017, US Senate: Won by 20,715 votes. Trump: 62%.
- Conor Lamb, PA, 2018, US Congress: Won by 627 votes. Trump: 58%.
- Pam Iovino, PA, 2019, State Senate: Won by 2569 votes. Trump: 51%.
- Andy Beshear, KY, 2019, Governor: Won by 5150 votes. Trump: 62%.
Other Basic Info (and answers to Frequently Asked Questions)
- Make sure to Log your postcarding activity at bit.ly/PCALog – we report out group writing activity every week.
- When you write your first postcard, please take a photo of BOTH sides of one of your cards as a sample and email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for quality control. We will let you know if anything looks like it needs to be corrected. Note: Never save or share photos that include addresses. We will delete your photos after quality control; please do the same.
- Please wash your hands each time before writing or handling postcards. We want to protect both voters and the postal workers who will be the next ones to touch the cards.
- Clear handwriting is ESSENTIAL! If the voter can’t read your handwriting, the postcard could do more harm than good.
- Include the fact that you are a volunteer on every postcard. Research shows that this really makes a difference, especially if it’s the first thing you say.
- Sign your first name only, never your last.
- Cover the addresses if you take any pictures to post on social media.
- After you’re finished writing (and particularly if you have anyone else helping you write), please proofread all the postcards. Double-check the addresses, candidate’s name, date of election, spelling of candidate’s website, etc. Then stamp and mail them.
- If you got the addresses from us at Indivisible Eastside, please email us to confirm that you were able to write, stamp, and mail all the cards.
- Please delete the address list after you’ve written your postcards. If printed, please shred if possible. We want to do everything we can to respect the security and privacy of voters’ information.
- Decorative stickers are OK, but we are concerned about possible problems with the US Post Service processing equipment.
- Questions? Contact email@example.com