Help Postcards to Swing States (Formerly Postcards to Wisconsin and Michigan) (Updated With Mailing Deadlines on September 2, 2020)
Help Postcards to Swing States reach voters in ten critical states and remind them to cast a ballot this fall. (We at OTYCD updated this post on September 2, 2020. Scroll down to see the new information.)
This story comes with backstory. The folks behind Postcards to Swing States started with Postcards to Wisconsin, an effort to Get Out the Vote (GOTV) in the April 2020 Wisconsin Democratic primary.
That wasn’t the end of it. Their initial plans for phase two were to target Wisconsin and Michigan Democratic voters with two million GOTV postcards, nudging them to come out in the fall for the November 3, 2020 election.
Well, the organizers’ ambitions expanded.
Postcards to Swing States aims to send 13 million GOTV postcards to:
…as well as Wisconsin.
The campaign actually targets ten states; two of them, Montana and Maine, have since been completed by volunteers.
Postcards to Swing States will provide you with pre-printed postcards. You provide the stamps and the labor. You’re also given a choice of one or two scripts to hand-write.
Postcards should be mailed around mid-October, but each order will contain specific dates for mailing.
UPDATE September 2, 2020. The organizers have released the mailing deadlines for the GOTV postcards.
Check the instructions that came with your delivery to confirm which wave you’re in.
Please note: The dates for the waves are NOT in chronological order.
Wave One: Saturday, October 24, 2020
Wave Two: Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Wave Three: Monday, October 26, 2020
Wave Unknown: Wednesday, October 21, 2020
The organizers also answered three pressing questions, which we at OTYCD have cut and pasted here:
Will we change our mailing dates?
We’re closely monitoring the USPS delays. We’ll reevaluate our mailing dates in mid-September, which is still over a month before the first mailing date is scheduled. Our current mailing dates already anticipate some delay in mail delivery. If we change them we’ll let you know.
Why aren’t we mailing sooner?
Our postcards will increase turnout the most if they arrive just a few days before the election. The voters we’re targeting are likely to vote on election day or not at all, so if our postcards arrive earlier, they will largely be forgotten by the time it matters. Some voters will have mail-in ballots, and our postcards will be a timely reminder to mail them in. But our postcards aren’t designed to prompt voters to request absentee ballots. Postcards aren’t very good tools for that type of valuable effort in the first place. Given the information on our postcards and the target voters, they’d be nearly useless if mailed early in hopes of getting voters to request mail-in ballots.
What about the USPS Delays?
The vast majority of first class mail is still arriving on time, and less than 2% is taking longer than 5 days. The changes at the USPS are definitely problematic, but the Postal Service normally delivers 96% of first class mail in 1-3 days, with the rest arriving within 1-2 extra days. State laws that allow voters to request mail-in ballots just a few days before the election or require mail-in ballots to be received by election day require USPS to operate with extreme precision, so slight delays can disenfranchise tens of thousands of voters. But our mailing dates are between 8-13 days before the election – well within the timeframe recommended to ensure delivery. Finally, the USPS handles over 400 million pieces of mail every day, and first class mail volumes have been down every single year for a decade. In fact, the decrease in first class letters/cards from last year alone exceeds the number of postcards we’re mailing on any given day. Our 15 million postcards will in no way contribute to any delays for ballots. USPS has plenty of capacity to process first class mail. Huge increases in package volume, mail carrier absences due to COVID-19 and procedural changes by DeJoy are the causes of mail delay, not capacity.
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The smallest order you can request is for 200 postcards.
As of July 2020, more than 25,000 volunteers have signed up to help.
If you can’t join the postcard army, you can finance it instead with a donation.
See the Postcards to Swing States website:
See the Postcards to Swing States FAQ, which includes the language of the A and B scripts:
Donate to Postcards to Swing States:
Like Postcards to Swing States on Facebook:
Follow Postcards to Swing States on Twitter:
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