Why use Votebuilder?

Published on Author VA5

Virginia VoteBuilder
From an article by the Vermont Democratic Party
What is Votebuilder?

Votebuilder is an online database containing two sections. “My Voters” which contains information about every registered voter in the state and “My Campaign” which allows political parties and candidate campaigns to track and manage their volunteers. Votebuilder is exclusive to Democratic organizations and is used by every State Democratic Party and Democratic candidates ranging from Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign to local races. This standardization across states and campaigns has given Democrats an enormous advantage over other political parties for several reasons: existence of a large user base familiar with VoteBuilder; data is no longer kept in silos walled off, not easily accessible to others; since Votebuilder went national in 2007 Democratic Parties and campaigns have been putting data into the system regarding voter’s candidate preferences; constituency issue data is stored which has helped create finely tuned models of political preferences and voting behaviors. Most importantly, Votebuilder cuts down on the time a candidate committee would have to spend acquiring data allowing them to spend precious time on other campaign activities.

If you’re located in the 5th, we have a tech team that is available to conduct on-site, hands-on VoteBuilder training at your Campaign or Committee’s location. Please contact us for more information.

Why use Votebuilder?

Why should you use Votebuilder instead of a paper list or a locally created database?

Votebuilder contains voting history information for Virginia’s General, Primary,
Presidential Primary, and Municipal elections in one easy to search place.

Years of collecting Survey Responses from voter contact have helped create the
“Likely Party Model” contained in Votebuilder which classifies Virginia voters as a
Republican, Democrat, or Independent. There is no other database available in Virginia that makes this classification as accurate as Votebuilder.

Votebuilder contains data enhancements such as additional phone numbers,
address corrections, and certain consumer information that is not available from the Virginia Dept. of Elections or local lists.

Votebuilder organizes your data in a secure place that can be accessed anywhere
as long as you have an internet connection.

Votebuilder allows you to save the lists you create and share them with other uses

Votebuilder is really two databases in one. These different sections are called MyVoters and MyCampaign and contain different information and have different purposes. It is important to use the correct part of Votebuilder for the task at hand. You can easily tell which part of Votebuilder you are in by looking at the tabs at the top of the page. If you are in MyVoters the tab selected will be dark blue. If you are in MyCampaign the tab will be orange.

My Voters

MyVoters keeps track of all the registered voters in the state and includes a wealth of information gathered from a variety of sources on each individual voter. This information includes:

Contact information: Phone numbers, physical and mailing addresses
Geographic Information: Town, County, Legislative Districts, Wards
Demographic Information: Age, Sex, Race, and Ethnicity
Voting History: For General, Primary, Presidential Primary, and Municipal Elections
User Added Data: Survey Question responses, Activist Codes, Contact History

The MyVoters side of VAN is the most commonly used part of Votebuilder. It is where campaigns create lists for phone, walk mailing programs as well as store the responses they receive from their voter contact efforts. MyVoters is also where you will find the contact information for Town, County, and State Committees, Activist Codes for constituency issues, information on absentee ballot requests, and polling place information of individual voters.

My Campaign

MyCampaign is the volunteer management side of Votebuilder. A Committee’s
MyCampaign database by default starts with zero people in it, and as volunteers and activists are recruited they are added to the database. Many of the tools such as list creation and reports available to you in MyVoters are also available to you in MyCampaign. Thus, when you learn one side you will be familiar with the other. An important distinction between MyCampaign and MyVoters is that records located in MyCampaign do not need to be registered voters in the state since you may have volunteers under the age of 18 or from out of state. MyCampaign allows the user to do the following:

Store volunteer and local activist contact information.
Create lists of volunteers.
Keep track of preferred volunteer activities.
Use a built in calendar to track volunteers scheduled for canvasses, phone banks, etc.

MyCampaign is typical used by campaigns with large volunteer operations or local party groups who need to track volunteers and activists over long periods of time. Every Committee has their own MyCampaign database which cannot be viewed by other committees.