UPDATE: our fundraising goal has been reached! Huge thanks to everyone who donated! If you still want to support the campaign, the Donorbox link will remain online.
If we raise 200 more dollars, I can mail every ‘active’ registered voter in my district, purchase an ad in a local newspaper, and put some money towards Facebook ads. Anything extra can go to other forms of advertising, like yard signs. Since my last financial report, I’ve raised $8, so I really only need $192 to reach my goal.
If you would like to support the campaign, please donate here or share the link with others, thank you! My campaign is 100% funded by individuals and not one penny has come from PACs, lobbyists, or corporations.
Currently, there’s $312.02 in the campaign account. Last time, nearly 5% of the money we raised from online donations went to fees, which means I can only expect about $182.40, but that’ll put us at $494.42, which is enough to cover the aforementioned items.
$323 — Mailing Every ‘Active’ Voter
I obtained a voter file from the SOS’s office that lists every registered voter in the State of Arkansas; it includes information like their name and address that can be used to send direct mail. Long story short, I wrote a Python program to extract a list of every registered voter in my district and put it into a readable format. Voter files can change quickly, so I’ll need to get a new one later, but let’s just work with this one for now.
According to my file, there’s 984 registered voters in my district, with only 779 of them being ‘active’ (I think voters labelled ‘inactive’ can’t vote until their status is fixed). I don’t really need to mail the same household more than once, so I filtered out all the duplicate addresses, and removed specific people I don’t want to mail, like myself. That resulted in a list of only 467 people.
Side note: with turnout for local elections being abysmally low, I doubt more than 250 people will vote in my race.
This is only a rough estimate, but Vistaprint should charge around $323 to mail a 5×7 inch postcard to 500 people. To get to 500, I’ll just add 33 ‘inactive’ voters to the list. I can design the postcard myself for free and upload the design to their website.
According to the SOS, the voter registration deadline is October 11th and early voting starts on October 24th, so I could send the mailing around September 18th to put roughly one month between folks receiving a card in the mail and going to the polls. They’ll also have some time to make sure their registration is alright.
Hopefully, I’ll be able to convey my message to hundreds of voters and convince enough of them to support me to win this election!
$125 — 3-Month Ad in The Arkadelphian
The Arkadelphian is a local, online newspaper that covers county news quite extensively. They ran my original campaign announcement, I read it on a regular basis, and lots of other candidates purchased ad spots from them. The editor sent me their political rates and a 1/4-page ad costs $125 to run for three months (if the rates ain’t gone up with inflation!)
It’s pretty small, but still readable. A 1/2-page ad is $250, which I’ll consider if we raise $325, but anything more than that seems like a bit much. Three months seems long enough to me, because most voters only start caring about a month before the election.
Hopefully, this’ll get some more exposure for my campaign before the postcards go out and allow my message to reach individuals who aren’t registered to vote yet (by the way, if you live in District 8 and need help getting registered, please get in touch!)
$46 — Facebook Ads
Facebook ads are pretty cheap, so I’ll use the remainder of the $200 to boost one or more posts on my campaign’s official Facebook page. Most people in my area use it, and just like the newspaper ad, it’ll help the campaign reach potential voters who aren’t registered yet. Hopefully, it’ll also boost our follower count, so more people see my posts in the future.
Everything I laid out in this post will cost around $494. It sounds like a lot to a working-class gal like me, who doesn’t even have 1/4 of that in the bank, but it’s far less than what people spend on state and federal races, which can get into the millions. Hopefully, we’ll be able to reach our goal and win this election! Thank you!