DENVER – Democrats are rolling out an expanded online portal that allows people to register to vote and request a mail ballot in their state and even helps digitize their signature on their paperwork.
The updates to the Democratic National Committee's IWillVote.com are an example of the latest way both parties have tried to adapt the mechanics of modern campaigning to the realities of voting during the pandemic.
“The stakes for our country have never been higher, and we’re making sure Americans have all the information they need in order to make their plan to vote and send Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the White House," Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez said in a statement released Monday.
Both major parties have rejiggered their get-out-the-vote playbooks during the pandemic. Democrats' adjustment has been most dramatic as they've largely suspended the door knocking that is a staple of election years. Instead, they've taken their field program digital, texting and calling potential voters and talking them through the newly complex logistics of voting, either in person or via mail ballot.
Republicans are also urging their voters to cast ballots by mail, touting the method to new registrants and promoting it in mailings, some of which include applications for absentee ballots. But their task has been complicated by President Donald Trump baseless claim that mail voting will lead to massive fraud, which has led far fewer GOP voters to request mail ballots than Democratic ones.
Republicans have a potential advantage over Democrats, though — they've restarted face-to-face get-out-the-vote programs. “We are rolling out one of the largest, most aggressive and battle-tested Get Out The Vote programs focused on Early Voting and voting on Election Day,” Republican National Committee spokeswoman Mandi Merritt said.
The party has its own online portal, Vote.GOP, to register voters and help them find ways to vote, and Merritt said it received 1.1 million visitors during last month's party convention.
But Democrats are hitching more of their hopes to digital organizing. Their redesigned website provides different methods of registering to vote and requesting absentee ballots tailored to voters' home states. It allows voters to either register online, request ballots online or have the materials sent through the mail, with a postage-paid return envelope included to submit the ballot to the local elections office.