VAN Updates

For the first time ever both the ODP and DNC have executed a complete statewide cell phone acquisition. Previously, in early 2016, the ODP only acquired cell phones for registered democrats, or specific candidates. But beginning last month, we loaded every available cell phone number for every registered voter into Oklahoma’s VAN.

I don’t have the exact counts in front of me right now, but the most recent voter file assessment I have shows that 8.8% of OK’s registered voters have cell phones appended to their record — this may not seem like a lot but it is an especially big deal for OK! The average is usually about 3%!

Depending on the exact acquisition counts, this new batch of cell phones will enable candidates to communicate with ~5x as many voters via cell phone (as you drill down more locally, it will obviously vary for candidates in certain districts.)

For background on the acquisition, the ODP and DNC worked with multiple vendors and acquired virtually every available cell phone number among registered voters.

The ODP has finalized a contract with Hustle. Hustle is a peer-to-peer messaging app that was used by both major presidential campaigns on the Democratic side to connect with their supporters via text message. Because phone calls aren’t as effective this election cycle and there are lots of rules/ regulations around blast text messages, campaigns now have a tool that is not a blast message tool, and could help enable you to quickly and legally reach out to supporters via sms for purposes of volunteer engagement, voter turnout, and driving people to events.

There are no subscription costs or minimum usage requirements — just “pay as you go” for the text messages you send. Just like with Robocalls. The price is 8¢ per message. Our pricing includes free cell phone number validation, local sender phone numbers, committee setup and training.

Hustle has a full, two-way sync with VAN. That means you can create a list of people you want to text in VAN and push it into Hustle, as well as record data in Hustle that gets synced back to activist codes, survey questions, or event RSVPs in VAN.

Please be on the look out for a followup email from Sean at Hustle for signup information.

We are also excited to announce that we now have the ability to generate and publish online event signup forms for campaigns. These forms will collect and dump signup data directly into VAN. This will greatly increase your ability to track event attendees, pledges to vote, and GOTV voting planning signups!

If you’re interested please let me know and we’ll get you setup.

It is now easier than ever to set up volunteers and get them out on the doors faster than ever this election season with Distributed Canvassing!

Distributed Canvasses allow you to skip turf cutting by using MiniVAN to pull down an assigned number of doors within a given universe based on the canvasser’s location. Distributed Canvasses are designed for multiple canvassers to use the same list number and receive a mutually exclusive set of doors, saving organizers and staff time and effort – ultimately making it easier for you and your volunteers to get to knocking on those doors! For those of you having difficulty cutting your own turf and getting around in VAN this will be especially useful for you!

We have transitioned Melanie Slates, previously the ODP’s field organizer, into a new roll as Deputy VAN Admin. This move should translate into better response times to your VAN requests.

Please do your best to submit all your VAN questions and support issues via the support request function in VAN; NOT via email. Doing so prevents emails from getting lost and will speed up the troubleshooting process and allow Melanie to easily push complex issues my way for troubleshooting.

To better assist down-ballot candidates we are offering to do one-on-one support meetings with you and your campaigns. One-on-ones will be conducted in scheduled one hour blocks. During your scheduled hour you will be the only candidate/campaign we handle; it’ll be your hour for us to do whatever you need us to do in VAN. From script setup, activist code/survey question creation, targeting, list matching/upload, VPB setup, to Distributed Canvass generation. Whatever you need from us to use VAN to its full potential.

If you’re interested, please use the link below to schedule your time.

If you work with an outside vendor to run phone calls, robocalls, or polls we are now required to collect a signed Non-disclosure Agreement & Liability Release. We will not release any phone numbers from VAN until we have this signed and returned. There will be no exceptions.

Further, all data collected and appended must be returned to your campaign and the ODP for upload back into VAN. Failure to do so constitutes a breach of the VAN User License and Vendor NDA; and put you and/or your vendor in danger of loosing access to VAN.

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