In brief: Project Texas
- The takeaways from the 2020 election are clear: Texas Democrats need to register more voters. With Project Texas — Texas Democrats’ 2022 Voter Registration Plan — that’s exactly what we’re planning to do.
- The numbers show that of Texans who are eligible to vote but are not registered, nearly 2 million are likely to vote Democratic. We want to register all of them.
- We’ve talked with partners across the state and beyond to create a plan to get Texas Democrats registered — both using proven approaches, and testing out innovative ways to encourage Texans to fill out their forms and get registered.
- We’ll test out which approaches work best through our 2021 pilot program. Then, we’ll scale up the most effective methods to do a massive voter registration push in 2022.
- Of the target voters we’re aiming to register, more than half are Latino — so we are building out a plan that is tailored to Latino communities and weaving a strong Spanish-language component throughout our outreach. The numbers also show that within our target group of unregistered likely Democrats, ⅕ are Black and ¼ are 25 years of age or younger — so outreach to Black communities and young people will be a key part of our Project Texas programming.
- Every Democrat we register gives us a better shot at tipping the scales and putting Democrats in power in 2022.
- This spring, Republicans made their strategy very clear: they are so afraid of being voted out of the office that they are simply trying to stop Texans from voting. Voter registration is one way we can fight back, by helping more Texans get to the ballot box. While Republicans are trying to silence Texans, with Project Texas, we are going to help as many Texas voters as possible make their voices heard.
In order to position Democratic candidates up and down the ballot to win in 2022 and beyond, the Texas Democratic Party must significantly scale up our investments in voter registration. With Project Texas, that’s exactly what we’re going to do. With our next phase of organizing for the 2022 elections, we will test different voter registration tactics — including both proven approaches and new ones — through a significant pilot program. We’ll track the impact of those programs, and then scale up the most effective tactics across the state in 2022 and beyond.
In 2020, Democrats lost in Texas by just 631,000 votes in the presidential race. In many down-ballot races, the margins were much smaller. There are more than 3 million unregistered voters in Texas — more than enough to close this gap — and modeling suggests that at least 70% of unregistered Texans are likely Democrats. Among these unregistered likely Democrats, more than half are Latino, ⅕ are Black, and ¼ are 25 years of age or younger.
What this means
- We need to invest more and earlier in voter registration. Voter registration has the potential to be a key driver of closing the statewide vote margin — but only if we significantly scale up our investments in voter registration. That’s why we’re launching Project Texas 17 months out from the 2022 elections — so that we have time to build a powerful program that will drive Democratic victories.
- We need to work statewide. Based on the data, there are thousands of likely Democratic voters not just in Texas’ largest counties, but in counties of all sizes across the state. We will work with our county parties, clubs, and caucuses, and through direct staffing investments, to have a strong Project Texas presence in as many counties as possible.
- Unregistered voters are diverse in every way. There are Texans of all backgrounds who are eligible to vote but unregistered — so we will tailor our tactics to the many diverse communities where we are running our programs.
- Who we register really matters. As the Texas Democratic Party, our ultimate goal is to elect Democrats. If we’re also adding large numbers of Republican voters to the rolls, that only makes our job of winning elections harder. We shouldn’t do Republicans’ jobs for them. Therefore, we will focus our programming on registering the highest proportion of Democratic voters possible.
If we want to build a better future for Texans and people across our country, creating a reliably blue Texas is the answer. We’ve seen the harmful, damaging policies Republicans are pushing forward — and as the GOP grows more and more extreme, these attacks on our communities will only get worse. In contrast, Democrats are fighting every day for Texans — for our voting rights, for our healthcare and our safety, for our jobs and our education, for racial justice, and for a better future. The only way to get there is to elect more Democrats and turn Texas blue for the long haul. And when we flip Texas, we will create a reliably blue United States — and build a better future for people across our country. Every cycle we get closer to our goal, and every voter that we register will help us get over the finish line.
Presidential Margin of Victory, Texas, 2004-2020
In order to register the more than 2 million unregistered likely Democratic voters in the state, the Texas Democratic Party will test these tactics as part of Project Texas:
- Digital Ads. We made investments in voter registration digital ads in 2020 and will further test messaging and ad design going forward.
- Apartment Voter Registration. Many unregistered likely Democratic voters live in apartment buildings, and voter registration rates among apartment residents tend to be lower than the population as a whole.
- Voter Registration Mail. Mail is often the most cost-effective means of registering voters.
- Traditional (Site-Based) Voter Registration. Site-based voter registration in high-traffic locations is a tried and true approach that is highly scalable. We will begin supporting county parties and other organizations across the state to carry out site-based voter registration in 2021.
- RegisterTexas. Currently, in development, RegisterTexas is a door-to-door canvassing tool that works in partnership with RegisterTexas.com, our on-demand voter registration application request system. With RegisterTexas, volunteers and canvassers will be able to identify unregistered voters in their neighborhood, knock on their doors, and register them to vote.
- Relational Voter Registration. In 2020, the data proved what we already know: old-school talking to friends and family works. Voters are often more likely to take action when someone they know is contacting them.