Campaigns keep track of voters and where they are sending information

Campaigns know when you vote early
Posted at 4:40 PM, Oct 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-30 18:10:11-04

TAMPA — With mailers, door knocks and phone texts running rampant, early voters like Lester McCoy say they're ready for relief.

"Plenty of door hangers and seeing people walking the neighborhood,” he said. "At the grocery store and at Walmart so it's become a little overwhelming at this point."

Overwhelming for voters but these expensive, time-consuming efforts to get out and sway the vote are more sophisticated than you may realize.

"Especially if you've gotten a vote-by-mail ballot and you haven't mailed it back in. They're absolutely going to come after you,” said political consultant Susan McManus.

These days political campaigns have phone apps or software that tell them a lot about you: if you've voted already, your age, your party affiliation, even how often you vote or if you voted in the primary or the main election. It's all public information.

"I can every day have a spreadsheet set up so that I can see 'here's all the registered voters that I'm trying to reach' and I can match that with all of the people that voted early today and I can take those out of my master contacts spreadsheet and start winnowing it down,” said McManus.

The political consultant and retired USF professor says for campaigns, it's all about reaching a shrinking pool of voters as we approach November 6.

"The last days of a campaign-- these ad people don't want to waste money sending a mailer or getting somebody to come knock on your door if you've already voted,” said McManus.

It’s relief McCoy says he will welcome.

"We are early voters, yeah. We want our voices heard and know how important it is,” he explained.