They know if you’ve voted or not, and that’s not all

Oct 22, 2012

OLYMPIA, Wash. – 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.

Phone Bank Volunteer: “Well I also wanted to remind you to vote for other Democrats like Jay Inslee for governor.”

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've returned their ballots.

“And so what we do is take those lists and compare them to the voter lists that we have compiled,” Pepple said.

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