Vote From Home 2020
For Immediate Release: August 5, 2020
Contact: Sarah Epelman


In the two months since its launch, new progressive initiative Vote From Home 2020 has secured $150,000 in small-donor funding, signed up 12,000 new members, and contacted 45,000+ voters in the nation's swing states.

August 5, 2020 – Vote From Home 2020, a progressive organizing initiative that sends vote-by-mail applications to swing-state voters and runs a virtual chase campaign to make sure they vote, is gaining significant momentum ahead of the 2020 general election. With 89 days left until Election Day, the grassroots group has secured three partnerships, signed up 12,000 new members, mobilized over 1,000 volunteers across the country, made over 5,000 calls and sent over 40,000 text messages to encourage voters to sign up for mail-in ballots and raised over $150,000 from small-dollar online donors.

In a time where social distancing has dramatically reduced traditional, in-person voter outreach, Vote From Home 2020 has:

  • Raised over $150,000 over just two months from online small-dollar grassroots donors. 
  • Signed up 12,000 new members and mobilized more than 1,000 volunteers across all 50 states to make calls and send text messages to remind voters to fill out and complete their application, and stress the importance of taking safety precautions when voting this year. 
  • Partnered with three different organizations: Resistance Labs to test the effectiveness of three different messaging methods to encourage voters to vote-by-mail; NextGen America on their National Vote By Mail Day of Action; and Somos Votantes PAC on Latinx mobilization.
  • Started their organizing and voter contact program over the summer by making over 5,000 calls and sending over 40,000 text messages to targeted voters, in just over two weeks of activity, to prime them to Get Out the Vote By Mail this fall.
  • Hired three political all-stars to mobilize and educate voters about their right to vote-by-mail, including Charlotte Hill (UC Berkeley elections expert) as a Senior Advisor, Maddy Leahy (Kamala Harris 2020) as the new National Mobilization Director, and Carlos Chaverst Jr. (Bernie 2016, Obama 2012) as the National Volunteer Coordinator.

To ensure that dual-risk voters will be able to cast a ballot for the general election, Vote From Home 2020 recently launched the Life-Cycle Organizing Model, a five-phase plan that walks potential voters through each step of the vote-by-mail system to ensure that they apply for and receive their mail ballot, return it before their state’s election deadline, and get it counted. 

“We are grateful for the countless volunteers, donors and supporters that helped put Vote From Home 2020 in such a strong position heading into the 2020 general election,”said Suzy Smith, co-founder of Vote From Home 2020. “There is nothing more important, no better use of our time, energy, and money over these next few months than ensuring Amercians have the access and opportunity to vote by mail safely and have their voices heard on November 3rd.”

“COVID-19 has brought America to a halt, and with it almost all in-person voter mobilization efforts. We are thankful for our volunteers across the country that are working day and night to ensure dual-risk voters receive their ballot applications and vote ahead of the general election,” said Ben Tyson, co-founder of Vote From Home 2020. “We're seeing COVID-19 cases increase across regions of the country, and we have no idea what the health landscape will be like in November. Vote-by-mail is our path to victory.”

Research shows that sending voters absentee ballot request forms can nearly double their likelihood of voting by mail instead of in-person (Hassell 2017). Moreover, calling and texting voters to ensure they cast their ballot increases turnout by up to 3 percentage points (Dale and Strauss), and having volunteers conduct this outreach is significantly more effective than commercial texting or phone banking (Gerber and Green 2019). 

Only 10.7% of voters in Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania voted by mail in 2016. This year, for the first time, every voter in these states has the opportunity to request a ballot without an excuse.

Vote From Home 2020, co-founded by Let America Vote alums Suzy Smith and Ben Tyson, is prioritizing outreach to communities of color and young voters—groups that historically have low rates of voting by mail—in Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, and also connecting energized blue-state volunteers with a way to get out the vote in the COVID era. Suzy Smith most recently ran Elizabeth Warren’s 2020 campaign in Nevada and previously was executive director of Let America Vote, a political action organization whose mission is to end voter suppression across the country. Ben Tyson was previously national field director of Let America Vote and has run successful field organizing teams for Senate, House, and state candidates.

Progressive leaders across the country praise Vote From Home 2020 early traction

"No one should have to choose between their right to vote and their health. During this pandemic, we must find ways to protect everyone’s right to vote while prioritizing safety above anything else. That’s why I’m proud to support the new Vote From Home 2020 initiative in their effort to expand vote-by-mail in the 2020 elections and ensure that every American has the opportunity to vote, and vote safely, this November,” said Cecile Richards, co-founder of Supermajority.

"It's simple, voting by mail this year will save lives and save our democracy. We're excited to be partnering with Vote From Home 2020 on their efforts to Get Out the Vote by Mail this year,” said Jared DeLoof, National States Director for NextGen America.

“Communities of color are at greatest risk both from COVID-19 and Republican voter disenfranchisement efforts than any other group of voters. Vote From Home 2020 will be a critical platform to build a grassroots operation to ensure that voters don't have to choose between their health and right to vote in the 2020 election,” said Melissa Morales of Somos PAC. "Latinx voters are among the dual-risk voters that Vote From Home 2020 is targeting to vote-by-mail this year, and we're excited to have them partner with us on our efforts to mobilize these critical voters starting with our joint Day of Action on August 11th."

“Our underserved communities have been hit hard by COVID-19. We must make sure they can vote safely and are not disenfranchised in the upcoming elections. Vote From Home 2020 will play an important role for these voters by building a grassroots movement to expand vote by mail opportunities for them,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

“As most of the country continues to self isolate and maintain social distancing guidelines, we must harness progressive power from across the country to connect voters to mail-in ballot applications," said Moveon.Org Chief of Staff Lisa Changadveja. "Communities of color are at greatest risk both from COVID-19 and Republican voter disenfranchisement efforts than any other group of voters. Vote From Home 2020 will be a critical platform to build a grassroots operation to ensure that voters don't have to choose between their health and right to vote in the 2020 election." 

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