DNC Announces ‘Arbor Project’; Next Generation Voter Registration Toolset

Washington, DC – Today, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced the Arbor Project a collaborative effort between the DNC’s Voter Expansion Project and Project Ivy, the latest generation of the DNC’s data program.

“The goal of the Arbor Project is simple – to empower campaigns, grassroots partners and state parties to run registration programs based on the most accurate and up-to-date data available and arm new and current voters with the information they need to cast their ballot,” said DNC Chair Wasserman Schultz. “Earlier this year, the DNC launched the Voter Expansion Project with a video from President Clinton. Since then we’ve brought on staff who work 24/7 on expanding access to the polls and building tools to help ensure that Democrats keep the Senate, pick up seats in the House, and elect new statewide officials from governor to secretary of state.”

The Arbor Project consists of two symbiotic components – an innovative data set that combines public records, historical turnout results, voter files and targeting model predictions to identify the number of potential new Democratic voters in each state, county, congressional district, and precinct. The second part of the project is IWillVote.com – a voter education and registration site in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The site will launch in conjunction with this weekend’s DNC Executive Committee meeting in Washington, DC.

“Running data-driven campaigns is all about using your finite resources to most effectively connect with voters and potential voters. Our Arbor Project data set will give campaigns an invaluable resource to effectively target and register voters that will be key to Democratic victories. We are able to calculate the potential impact of new voters on voter margins and the difficulty of identifying potential new voters in each area,” said DNC Technology Director Andrew Brown.

The Arbor Project’s data set will also include valuable information on key constituencies of the Democratic base including African-American, Hispanic, and Americans under-30, to better facilitate efforts targeted specifically at these groups.

The DNC’s Director of Voter Expansion, Pratt Wiley continued, “The data set will give campaigns the tools they need to register new voters and IWillVote.com will give voters all the information they need to vote. It is easier and more convenient for a citizen to participate in the electoral process when he or she understands when to vote, where to vote, what to bring with them to vote, and what to expect on Election Day in order to vote.  That is why we have provided all of the ‘rules of the road’ in one simple location.”

Additional Background on the Arbor Project:

The Arbor Project will provide numerous benefits to registration efforts including:

  • Allowing campaigns to run geographically targeted digital and communications programs that will reach the highest number of unregistered voters.
  • Directing canvassing operations and voter registration drives that target the highest density of unregistered voters to maximize output.
  • By launching the Arbor Project in June, the DNC has outpaced previous cycles, allowing campaigns more time to run data driven registration campaigns.

The Arbor Project’s data set includes three estimates to help focus voter registration efforts:

  • Potential New Democrats: an estimate of how many Democrats there are to be registered
  • Vote Gain: an estimate of how many net votes for Democrats would be produced by registering new voters
  • Geographic Registration Density: an estimate of how difficult it will be to find potential voters in an area

And IWillVote.com provides the following useful information for voters:

  • Key Dates such as when Early Voting starts or when voter registration ends
  • Requirements for registering to vote
  • Checking and updating voter registration status
  • Residency requirements
  • Special information for students to consider
  • Special information for former felons to consider
  • Identification requirements
  • Voting before Election Day

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