The Democratic House campaign arm is dropping $9 million on an effort to educate voters on their options for casting ballots this year.
The investment by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) will span 50 competitive House districts nationwide and will use mail, text, phone and digital outreach to urge voters to create a plan for how they will vote either in November or ahead of time.
In addition to laying out options for voting – by mail or in-person – the program will also focus on educating voters on any changes to election laws and procedures.
The seven-figure operation comes in addition to an existing $10 million earmarked for fighting legal battles surrounding voting rights and ballot access.
The investment in voter education comes as states prepare for an expected surge in mail-in and absentee voting due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. President Trump has sought to sow doubt in such voting methods, arguing without evidence that expanded mail-in voting will lead to widespread fraud and uncertainty in the accuracy of the election results.
Some states have already begun mailing out absentee ballots to voters who requested them, and several more are expected to do so by the end of September.
DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) accused Trump and Republicans of waging a “crusade” against voting rights, saying they are trying to “lay the groundwork for skepticism in our democracy.”
“You’ve got this Republican crusade – and I do not use that word lightly – a Republican crusade to get in the way of people’s voting rights,” Bustos told reporters on a video briefing Wednesday.
“[Trump] is trying to lay the groundwork for the skepticism about voting by mail when you’ve had states like Oregon and Washington and Colorado and Hawaii and our men and women in uniform who have been voting by mail for many many years,” she added, referring to several states that conduct their elections entirely by mail.
The DCCC did not disclose exactly which districts would see investments in voter education. Lucinda Guinn, the committee’s executive director, said it would coordinate with other groups already working on similar efforts and would try to direct funds to districts without existing voter education programs in place.