Mindy Romero, director of the Civic Engagement Project at UC Davis.
We have big news: The NM Political Report just reported that more than 25,000 New Mexicans registered to vote or updated their voter registration online in the last two days – a huge surge of last minute new voters for candidates and campaigns.
That’s HUUUGGEE for democracy, but it could be bad news for candidates. Here’s why:
After spending months raising money and designing mail and volunteer programs to reach their voters, some districts just added more than 1,000 new voters local candidates didn’t know might show up. Those voters have likely never heard of their local candidates or their positions.
In tight state house districts (like those where just 6 or 63 votes given an uber-conservative a win over a progressive alternative last cycle), even a handful of new voters could swing the whole election.
Imagine if all those new voters just show up to vote for President and skip state legislature, judicial or local district attorney races on their ballot because they didn’t know the candidates!
That’s where we come in.
We’ve spent the last few months building our Progressive Voter Guide and we were just getting ready to send it out to progressive voters statewide when we saw this news. Donors and supporters like you have already helped us get it ready to go – but now we have a chance to do something even bigger.
If we get new voters in the habit of voting the whole ballot, we’ll make long-term change.
Election data shows that voters who have information on races down the ballot vote all the way through and our voter guide is the easiest way to find candidates who support women’s health, conservation, worker’s rights and common sense gun laws without having to spend hours on Google and the phone tracking down each of your local candidates to ask.
Small local campaigns don’t have the resources to pivot this quickly, but we do – with your help.
Each voter guide costs us about $2.00 to research, print and mail to a voter. I’m holding our mail order until Monday to add-in new voters we can afford to reach. These new voters need you now (they just don’t know it yet).
PS — We’re sorting through the new voter registrations now, but early data shows that a majority are registering to vote against Donald Trump and are likely voters for a progressive agenda if we can show them who supports issues they care about.