Section V


The 2017-2018 cycle saw many changes and improvements in the way the DPO used technology.

With more canvassers using the smartphone and tablet based miniVAN app over printed lists, more time was better spent on targeting and voter contacts instead of printing, writing down results and entering it back into the system. While in 2016, 52 percent of all doors knocked by the coordinated campaign were inputted using miniVAN, in 2018 this percentage went up to 75 percent, aided by electronic tablets provided by the DPO as well as volunteers having greater access to technology.

The DPO provided VAN help and technical support to all Democratic Oregon campaigns, county parties, volunteers and staff between 8AM to 7PM every day of the week from August until Election Day.

Vote Builder

Over the course of 2017 and 2018, working with the DNC and TargetSmart, our voter file records were appended with more than a half million high quality cell phone numbers in all 36 counties to better target voters. This enhanced not only our ability to do phone banking, but drastically improved our textbanking efforts.

In our goal to act as a force multiplier, we provided direct technical and voter file support to six Coordinated Campaign offices, six statewide and congressional campaigns, and 86 legislative campaigns

We maintained more than 200 active VoteBuilder Committees which consisted of 89 Local Campaign Committees, 86 Legislative Committees, 54 Party Committees and 6 Statewide & Federal Committees.

We managed 2,200 total active user accounts for candidates, campaign staff and volunteers in 2018, made 54 updated modeling scores available to campaigns secured from four professional providers, and we performed more than 10 statewide voter list updates over 24 months.

In our voter file, there are currently 2,754,129 active voters tagged with 1,980,505 phone numbers. In 2017 and 2018, we appended/added 445,782 high-quality cell phone numbers in order to better target voters. We also set up the ability to collect information about preferred language in order to better target non-English speaking voters for future elections and outreach.

Ally Support

The DPO worked with key allies such as SDLF, FuturePAC, OurOregon, SEIU, AFSCME,
AFL-CIO and others, supporting canvassing efforts and data collection.

Once ballots were mailed, our matchback dashboard provided daily updates to Democratic candidates, their staff, and allies on who voted.


In our matchback process, each weekday morning while ballots are out to voters the Democratic Party of Oregon receives a file from the State Elections Office containing a list of all ballots that have been accepted and processed by the County Elections Office. The DPO loads this list into VoteBuilder, where it is made available to Democratic campaigns across Oregon, so that individuals who have already turned in a ballot are removed from walk, call, texting and mailing lists.

In total, in the November General Election, we processed 1,847,475 ballot returns tagged through daily update efforts and made 14 updates between 10/22 through Election Day.


The DPO promoted in-house and external training and awareness of the DNC’s digital security checklist — helping staff, officers, campaigns, and county parties understand phishing, two factor authentication (2FA), creating better passwords, and suspicious emails.

We oversaw the transition of Oregon’s entire Votebuilder user base to 2FA. Two-factor authentication provides an added layer of security when logging in, requiring a second piece of information only the user should have access to when logging into their account from a new device.

The DPO also provided how-to guides and phone support for users during August, September, and October of 2018. We offered direct support in collaboration with the DNC for phishing attempts sent to Oregon Democratic campaign staff and volunteers and performed general administrative functions related to lost passwords, locked accounts, job transitions, new campaigns and shutting down the accounts of unsuccessful campaigns.

Data Analysis & Dashboard

The DPO’s goal is to empower counties and campaigns up and down the ballot by providing the most up to date and actionable data that is enhanced by the DNC and Targetsmart. In 2017 and 2018 we provided not only the tools but also the guidance and support to better target voters and energize volunteers. We generated recommended target universes for campaigns to utilize and worked with staff to build understanding of selection criteria: scores, demographics, location, vote history and householding. We uploaded thousands of volunteer prospect leads into VAN from campaign events, community outreach and websites, such as,

We created mail universes using vote history and other criteria to send out 581,290 GOTV mail pieces whose recipients had a 3.28% higher turnout than the Oregon average in the 2018 general election.

We helped to create a matchback dashboard, which provided real time analysis of ballot return numbers. Voter data can be displayed by date, registrant type, county, house or senate district. All reports can be downloaded in PDF and Excel formats.

Through our relationship with the DNC, the DPO utilizes the national Democratic data warehouse. This technology allows state parties, campaigns, and vendor partners to efficiently and effectively leverage incredibly rich data sets and data from voter files and appended data – including historical information and modeled data, information about phones and reachability, information on people who could potentially be registered to vote and voter file data with models added to help give a full picture of voters.


Text messages receive responses at twice the rate of phone calls, and 36 times the rate of emails. the key advantage with texts is simple: People read them. The open rates vary by company and campaign, but they’re usually in the range of 70 to 90 percent.

The DPO coordinated the state party contract for texting and negotiated a special price with Hustle, overseeing 14 campaigns and served as the resource hub for volunteers and script requests.

We administered the texting activity of the coordinated campaign and Democratic candidates in Oregon — helping to set up and train 1,081 users who sent texts to 469,533 contacts. We also provided textbank volunteers with a customized training video in collaboration with the coordinated campaign.

As an internal project, DPO staff and volunteers sent 56,000 messages to inactive voters, with 1,801 people requesting the link to the Secretary of State asking to update their voter registration.

Office Technology

The DPO’s technology assets continued to prove useful to the coordinated campaign’s voter outreach efforts as well as fulfilling the day-to-day needs of Oregon candidates and the party. The DPO maintained a technology inventory of A/V equipment, podiums, computer supplies, audio equipment, speakers and cords for campaigns to borrow.

In addition to reusing the existing Chromebooks, tablets and cell phones from the previous cycle, 27 new laptops and 20 new phones were purchased for staff and volunteers. In total, we inventoried and safeguarded 90 existing laptops to be used for voter outreach in future coordinated campaigns. Old and inadequate equipment was recycled through FreeGeek, a local nonprofit working to sustainably reuse technology and educate the community about technology access.

Election Night War Room

On November 6, 2018, the DPO ran an Election Night War Room which provided live results and analysis for candidate races. Eight volunteers and DPO staff tracked the Governor’s race, five congressional races, all Oregon State House and Senate races and five ballot measures.

Our war room was the first to report called races on election night, with staff and volunteers dedicated to watching local and national media feeds and reporting results as soon as they are publicly known. The war room not only tracked ballots counted in each race, but also issued reports on ballots remaining in each race and the estimated turnout.

Printing Services 

The DPO provided limited high quantity in-house printing services for political efforts when no immediate alternative was available — allowing the DPO to address urgent printing needs when time was of the essence. The coordinated campaign received printed walk packets within 2 hour turnarounds, ensuring that volunteers could knock on doors as quickly as possible after turfs were cut.  Our new production printer features a full suite of features including booklet making, stapling, three hole punch & PDF editing.

National Data

The DPO, through its leadership in the Association of State Democratic Party Executive Directors, played a key role in negotiating data and technology initiatives with the DNC, successfully advocating for the importance of state parties maintaining control of their voter file data and setting their relationships with state candidates.

Up Next

Communications & Online