A Vote-by-Mail Campaign During a Global Pandemic
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.
- 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
- Facebook: targeting primarily 45+
- Instagram: targeting primarily 25+
- Google Responsive Display: targeting all ages
- YouTube: targeting primarily 18+
- 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.
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.