The upside of writing to voters

 In Action
Volunteers in Swampscott writing postcards for a special election

“Creating the postcards is a positive outlet for my political angst. I don’t need research to show me that.”

Rose Hendricks, science communication advocate and researcher

When a potential voter receives a handwritten note encouraging them to vote in an upcoming election, it’s more than a political message, it’s a micro conversation saying that the writer cares.

While the jury is still out on the effects of handwritten notes on the recipients, there’s no question that they have a positive effect on the volunteers who write them. Behavioral Scientist found that postcard events increase civic engagement, raise morale, and foster a sense of empowerment.

Jen Runkle, a letter-writing party host in Virginia, puts it well, “Postcard writing stops us from complaining about what we can’t control and focuses on something positive – impacting voters in key districts and creating community in our own.”

It doesn’t take a lot for party hosts to connect people to each other and the cause. Here are some tips for postcard party hosts:

  • Use a one-on-one approach; Sister District found that sending personal invitations resulted in 168% more RSVPs and 177% more attendees, and confirming that guests will come resulted in a 51% increase in attendance.
  • Create ways for folks to get to know each other; social bonds among individuals increase engagement.
  • Explain the local political situation and be clear about what you are trying to achieve; given context, volunteers understand their goals and write more effective notes. 
  • Finally, everyone warns to feel useful, so thank individuals for coming … a personal call or email often leads to more involvement.

Could the Swing Left Greater Boston party-in-a-box help you take your letter and postcard writing events to the next level? Visit “Host an Event” to learn more.