Where Can I Get a Voter File?
When looking for insight into your target voter population, there are a couple of different ways to gain information. Most organizations rely on polls and surveys, but they overlook an incredibly valuable source.
Voter files are digital databases that provide information about most of the US adult population’s voting habits. Instead of turning to polls and surveys, try using voter files to learn about your voter base.
Here are eight sites you can go to for voter files.
What is a Voter File?
First, you should understand exactly what a voter file is. They’re typically built by commercial organizations using public government records. The names of registered and previous voters are publicly available information, though who someone voted for is not.
Additionally, voter files usually include data from outside sources. These sources might be consumer data vendors, credit bureaus, or political organizations.
This information gives campaigns and organizations an idea of nationwide voter registration and turnout. They can gauge how future elections will go based on past voter participation and current registration.
Where Can I Get a Voter File?
If you want to use voter files for your campaign or organization, you should make sure that you’re getting them from good sources. You need your data to be accurate and reliable for a realistic idea of voter behaviors.
Here are eight sources we recommend for your voter files.
Board of Elections
Every state has different rules for who can request voter registration lists and what information they can access. The National Conference of State Legislatures’ website has a straightforward list here of who can receive what information.
While most other sites pull data from the Board of Elections, they often include other sources to provide a more thorough picture of voter habits. You can usually get voter registration information cheap or, in some cases, for free, but you might miss out on a more comprehensive look at your constituents.
NationBuilder is a great site for campaigns. They offer multiple free and low-cost resources for anyone involved in a campaign, including free voter files on their site here. While you’re there, check out some of their other campaign resources, like the webinars, courses, apps, and tools.
Aristotle is another campaign resource provider that offers access to voter information from industry experts and a database of high-quality data. Their National Voter File contains information about more than 215 million voters. You can instantly download the lists you need at any time through VoterListsOnline.com.
L2Political offers affordable, up-to-date voter files for each of the 50 states. Simply visit their site, select your state, and get your voter information. L2 prides themselves on their immediacy, processing, frequency, accessibility, and independence, all of which are features to help you learn about your voters.
Political Data Inc. provides voter data for campaigns and political organizations that want to learn more about their constituents. Though they require a payment of about $5 per household, you only have to pay for the amount of information you need. PDI allows you to order the exact number of households’ voter information your organization requires.
Partner with a Party or Campaign
If you’re looking for an affordable way to gather voter information, a partnership with a party or another campaign is a great option. You can work with another organization that’s aligned with your political interests, and they’ll provide you with accurate voter information that’s relevant to your campaign.
A bonus benefit of a partnership is the networking connections you make. Your organizations can work together, promoting each other to your own separate audiences, building up both of your support bases.
Join a Coalition
As mentioned above, working with another political organization can help your campaign. A coalition operates on a similar principle, gathering multiple political organizations on a common agenda.
A great example is State Voices, a multiracial, multiethnic, and multicultural coalition. They work with hundreds of grassroots organizations to overcome barriers to civic participation. If your campaign is focused on helping minority, underrepresented, or marginalized populations, consider joining State Voices.
If you’re a progressive or democrat, try NGP VAN. NGP VAN is the leading tech provider for Democratic and progressive organizations. They also offer different resources, including access to voter files, to help campaigns, nonprofits, municipalities, and other groups achieve their goals.
Voter files are a great way to learn about your voters, but you want to make sure you’re getting them from a reliable source. Use one of the resources we listed above to get your voter files, and you’ll know that you’re getting accurate and reliable information.