FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, May 04, 2020
Grassroots Coalition Will Recruit Volunteers to Write 10 Million Handwritten Letters to Send To Low-Turnout Voters
NEW YORK — The Big Send, a major volunteer campaign that aims to send 10 million handwritten letters in October asking voters to cast their ballot in the 2020 elections, will launched last week with a coalition of support from grassroots organizations spearheaded by Vote Forward. To meet the goal of 10 million letters, Vote Forward has teamed up with Swing Left, Indivisible, Women’s March Foundation, Stand Up America, genEquality, People for the American Way, Democracy in Color, J Street, and Daily Kos.
Big Senders will write letters of encouragement and share why they vote to members of historically under-represented demographics—such as Black, Asian, Latinx, and Native American potential voters—urging them to cast their ballots. The initiative was conceived in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has created uncertainty and anxiety around the election process. Voters may face more challenges and obstacles to voting than before. It is unclear whether traditional, in-person voter contact methods, such as knocking on doors, will be viable this fall, making tactics like letter-writing even more critical.
“Whether Americans will be voting by mail or safely in person in November 2020, receiving a handwritten Vote Forward letter will make them more likely cast their ballots,” said Scott Forman, Founder and Executive Director of Vote Forward, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit created to increase the participation of traditionally under-represented groups in the electorate.
The Big Send is rallying grassroots organizations to start writing and stockpiling these letters NOW in anticipation of The Big Send in October 2020—when volunteers across the country will send all 10 million letters in one big push to get out the vote for Election Day. In recent weeks, volunteers across the country have been writing and stockpiling letters at a rate of nearly 10,000 letters per day, and nearly 200 new users are signing up with Vote Forward daily. Nearly one million letters have been written and stockpiled to date.
Vote Forward also released a short animated launch video to introduce The Big Send, narrated by Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, actors and activists who have hosted letter writing parties themselves for volunteers this cycle.
The Big Send is powered by Vote Forward, a uniquely helpful tool that makes writing letters to voters incredibly easy and accessible, even for first time volunteers. Initial studies indicate that sending Vote Forward’s handwritten letters to voters is one of the most effective things anyone can do to turn out voters from afar for the 2020 elections.
“Writing and stockpiling handwritten letters to voters is one of the safest and most effective ways for volunteers to contact voters right now and make an impact on the 2020 elections. We’re excited to take part in The Big Send because it is both simple and impactful. We have already seen that our volunteers around the country are meeting the moment and writing thousands of letters each week.” — Ethan Todras-Whitehill, co-Founder and Executive Director of Swing Left.
“Sending a handwritten letter to potential voters is one of the most effective ways to increase turnout—and it’s a concrete action that volunteers can take at home to help ensure that Americans across the country participate in our democracy. Stand Up America is proud to be a partner in The Big Send, an incredible initiative to reach underrepresented voters this election cycle.” — Joe Hines, Digital Director for Stand Up America, a grassroots group with a community of over two million members.
“We’re excited to be participating in The Big Send. From the beginning, Indivisible activists have been motivated by the tactics that work. Multiple randomized trials have shown that writing these letters is an extremely effective use of volunteer time.” — Lucy Solomon, IE Director for the Indivisible Project.
“It will take ALL of us contacting voters in their homes to ACTIVATE the vote! Join us for The Big Send. Your participation matters.” — Emiliana Guereca, President of the Women’s March Foundation.
“genEquality is thrilled to partner with Vote Forward and mobilize a grassroots letter-writing effort to amplify civic engagement and increase voter turnout across the United States. We believe that our democracy is at its best when everyone participates, and we want to see all levels of our government – local, state, and federal – truly reflect the diversity of America, particularly in terms of gender parity. The Big Send is a phenomenal initiative; by encouraging 10 million Americans to vote in the November 2020 elections, the positive impact of our collective letter-writing effort could be felt for years to come.” — Sherri Hakimi, Founder and Executive Director of genEquality.
“Now more than ever, it is critically important to encourage our communities to vote and to give them the extra encouragement to do so. We should use every innovative idea and tool at our disposal, and that’s why People For the American Way is excited to be a part of The Big Send. Our members across the country will be diving in to make this project a success and drive turnout this November.” — Diallo Brooks, Senior Director of Outreach for People For the American Way.
“J Street is thrilled to participate in The Big Send, a crucial initiative to increase voter turnout in the 2020 elections. Our supporters across the country are excited to join the coalition involved in this important effort to write 10 million letters to voters.” — Ben Shnider, Chief of Staff and Vice President of Political Affairs and Strategy at J Street.
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About Stand Up America
Stand Up America is a progressive advocacy organization with over two million community members across the country. Focused on grassroots advocacy to strengthen our democracy and oppose Trump’s corrupt agenda, Stand Up America has driven over 1.2 million calls to lawmakers and mobilized tens of thousands of protestors across the country.