As the 2022 midterms approach, a leftist dark money group is advising volunteers on how to write postcards to potential voters in the “deeply racist south.”
The Center for Common Ground, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is leading a massive campaign targeting black voters in Alabama, Virginia, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Florida. The group is advising volunteers sending postcards to would-be voters that their “unique mission in reaching out to Black voters in southern states … is to write with heartfelt respect.”
In its guidelines on “Deep South Etiquette” for writing postcards, the group claims that “racism” is “just normal behavior” to “average southern white folks” and that “respect is still a difficult commodity for Black voters.”
Except for “enlightened” white families, the group argues, it is “very common for southern white folks to call every Black domestic or other employee, customer or neighbor of any age simply by her first name,” and “every Black male employee by his abbreviated first name.”
The guidelines then instruct volunteers to use “Miss” or “Mr.” when addressing black voters, to even out “the racist language differences” and show “proper respect.”
“You are not writing to YOUR [white, liberal] neighbors, you are writing, respectfully, to get the attention of Black voters who are living in a deeply racist South,” the guidelines conclude.
The Center for Common Ground began sending out postcards to potential voters in 2019. During the 2020 election cycle, the nonprofit sent out 9 million postcards written and mailed by its volunteers. According to its website, the group exists to educate and mobilize “Black and Brown voters in voter suppression states to take action and protect their right to vote.”
Targeting would-be voters via postcards has become a popular tactic of leftist nonprofits. Vote Forward, a Democrat-aligned PAC and 501(c)(4) organization, believes “writing letters to voters is one of the most effective ways to help increase election turnout.” On its website, the group claims “Vote Forward letters can boost voter turnout by as much as 3.4 percentage points.” During the 2020 election, Vote Forward claimed that its 200,000 volunteers sent over 17 million letters to voters across 21 states.
Paid for by the Progressive Turnout Project, the group Postcards to Swing States argues “voters who receive handwritten postcards are significantly more likely to vote.” Leading up to the 2022 midterms, it expressed plans to send 4.9 million postcards to states with key Senate races. Activate America also writes postcards to “mobilize voters in close races.”
How do these groups figure out which voters to target? By analyzing key swing districts for Democrat candidates, they determine which districts have the closest margin for a Democrat victory and send out targeted mailers to likely Democratic voters, thereby boosting voter turnout — and it’s all technically legal.
This is all part of a larger effort by Democrats to capitalize on dark money nonprofits to swing elections in their favor. As The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel notes, Silicon Valley-based leftist super PAC Mind the Gap has pushed its donors to give money to 501(c)(3) get-out-the-vote organizations because they can be “2 to 5 times more cost-effective at netting additional Democratic votes.”
A 2019 memo published by Mind the Gap explains that “the single most effective tactic for ensuring Democratic victories” in 2020 would be “501(c)(3) voter registration focused on underrepresented groups in the electorate.”