We have to admit it: In an age of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram--to say nothing of Tumblr, Vine, and Meerkat--some people may think that "snail mail" is nearly as old school as the Pony Express itself.
But when you're talking about voter registration, home-delivered mail is what works. Especially with the Rising American Electorate, made up of unmarried women, people of color, and millennials. Mail was the second most popular means for the Rising American Electorate (RAE) to register to vote last year, second only to state-based Motor Vehicle departments.
That's why we are proud to announce today that the Voter Participation Center is mailing more than 1.4 million registration applications this month to prospective voters in eight states. While we also work hard to help Americans register to vote online, our fall mail drop is the first stage of an ambitious campaign to register between 1 million and 1.5 million new voters during the 2016 presidential election season.
In 2016, for the first time in our nation's history, people of color, unmarried women and millennials very likely will cast over half of all the ballots in the presidential election. The first step is getting them registered, and VPC and its partners plan to play a crucial role in signing up more members of the RAE than ever.
Together, we are sending voter-registration applications to prospective voters in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Why those states? Because, as this chart shows, the percentage of RAE members in those states who are not registered to vote ranges from 37 percent (North Carolina) to 47 percent (Nevada.) For unmarried women, 45 percent of them are not registered to vote in Nevada and 41 percent remain unregistered in Virginia.
Members of the RAE move more frequently than other voters, increasing the challenge. Over the last four years, half of all RAE members have moved and lost their registration status. Nearly 64 percent of millennials have moved since 2010! And since many RAE members miss registration deadlines or tell pollsters they don't know where or how to register, we try to make it easy for them. We mail them voter registration applications they can quickly sign and send directly to election registrars' offices in pre-addressed envelopes, to be certified by government officials.
So while snail mail may not be the next Snapchat, it is effective. It's helped us to register more than 2.6 million Americans. Now that's something to tweet about.