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Middlesex County – Vote by Mail

A Vote-by-Mail Campaign During a Global Pandemic

Challenges

Once COVID-19 forced the State of New Jersey into quarantine, state and county election officials immediately faced the prospect of running a primary election without in-person voting.

  • The New Jersey governor provided elections guidance over the course of several weeks that required stricter regulations.
  • Middlesex finally mandated that the primary election be held with vote-by-mail ballots.
  • The process would have very limited in-person preliminary ballot voting.
  • The count also required that residents have the opportunity to drop a mail ballot into a locked drop box in secure locations around the county.
  • Responsibility for educating the public fell to each county within the state.
  • Middlesex County is a very diverse county, with over 80 languages spoken. The two primary languages after English are Spanish and Gujarati.

Approach

  • Within a few weeks, TopRight created a comprehensive Vote by Mail campaign utilizing organic social media and paid digital advertising.
  • TopRight identified key locations least likely to Vote by Mail and directed a higher frequency rotation to those communities.
  • The TopRight team employed a rhythmic approach to organic social media strategy, consistently placing Vote by Mail content on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter 3-4 times per week.
  • Paid digital advertising also employed a rhythmic approach, with scheduled advertising buys on
  1. Facebook: targeting primarily 45+
  2. Instagram: targeting primarily 25+
  3. Google Responsive Display: targeting all ages
  4. YouTube: targeting primarily 18+
  5. Spotify: targeting primarily 18+
  • In addition to using YouTube and Spotify to reach our 18-25-year-old audience, TopRight used animated GIFs as attention grabbers for young voters.
  • A critical part of the campaign included a comprehensive landing page on Middlesex County’s website that concisely explained the process and provided links to register to vote, apply to vote by mail, and download the vote-by-mail ballot.
  • TopRight ensured that the marketing materials were translated into popularly spoken languages other than English, including Spanish and Gujarati.

Results

As a result of the campaign, Middlesex County generated the second-highest voter turnout in county history!

  • Of 500,000 eligible Middlesex County voters, 100,000 people voted in the primary.
  • TopRight is now working on a comprehensive Vote by Mail campaign to prepare voters to vote by mail in the November, 2020, general election.
  • In addition to organic social media and paid digital advertising, the county will also be adding TV spots.

Case Study Middlesex County Vote-by-Mail