Republican National Committee launches $60 million voting initiative
The campaign will have a digital focus, using social media, text messages and emails to provide people with reminders and tips on how to vote, according to The New York Times.
“The enthusiasm for [Donald Trump] is fueling our biggest digital GOTV effort ever,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel wrote in a Wednesday tweet. “The RNC is all-in on getting out the vote for POTUS and our fantastic Republican candidates!”
Richard Walters, chief of staff of the RNC, told The Times that the committee can target voters “every step of the way,” saying, “We know when you requested the ballot, and we know to continue following up with you until your ballot has been returned and until we can see it has been returned.”
The RNC has been building up its digital capabilities for years, and the next month will put those capabilities to the test as Republicans ramp up efforts to get people to participate in the election.
The committee spent a total of $2.9 million on its digital get-out-the-vote initiative in 2016, according to The Times.
“It’s a new priority from the GOP because typically this is not the type of money they would invest in that type of campaign,” Filippo Trevisan, a professor of public communication at American University, told the outlet. “They’ve had get-out-the-vote efforts in the past but never to the level that we’re seeing.”
The $60 million digital effort will focus largely on persuasive ads that encourage people to send in their mail-in ballots, the Times reported, citing RNC officials.
“Where it is effective, we’re absolutely pushing it,” Walters said of mail-in voting, “regardless of what the political narrative is.”
The president has repeatedly voiced concerns against mail-in voting and potential fraud that could reportedly occur in this year’s election, but experts argue that widespread mail-in voter fraud has not been an issue in the past. More than 6 million early ballots have been cast as of Thursday, according to the Elections Project.