Voting-By-Mail To Be Top Story in 2020 General Election

As we near the early months of summer, it is becoming more apparent each week that Vote-By-Mail (VBM) is going to play an unprecedented role in the 2020 General Election.

Experts say that COVID-19 could remain a threat well into 2021 and that, while many Americans will feel comfortable voting at polling stations on Election Day, others will naturally expect to be able to Vote-by-Mail from the comfort and security of their home.

As local governments prepare for handling an influx of mail-in ballots, campaigns across America are having to quickly adjust their communication strategy. Instead of focusing heavily on Election Day turnout, campaigns will have to determine with predictive technology what method voters will use to participate — either by mail, early vote in-person, or Election Day in-person. This is new for many states, so there’s no historical precedent to use as a baseline.

Communicating to those groups of voters before ballots are cast can be a challenge — a challenge that only a few states are currently familiar with. With so many moving parts, how do campaigns determine which methods voters will use? For some quick insight, let’s look to Florida.

Republicans have successfully used VBM in Florida to drive Republican votes for years, and now candidates across the country are going to have to figure out how to completely revamp their campaign strategies to get the same success.

It will take a large amount of voter education to figure out who’s going to vote which way — and even deeper research on when they’ll likely return their ballot

The answer? Enter predictive analytics. Predictive analytics, a fancy word for voter scoring and modeling, has been around for a while and has played major roles in the outcomes of recent elections. By offering campaigns a comprehensive data analysis that scores every voter, predictive analytics lets campaigns reach the right people with the right message through the right channel at the right time.

Using artificial intelligence, predictive analytics can model survey responses against every individual on the voter file to know exactly when mail voters are likely to return their ballot — whether that’s immediately, after a couple weeks, or closer to the deadline. The result is several custom scores for each voter that can then be used for voter communication/persuasion/turnout, allowing a cascading communication strategy, which will save on your budget. Imagine being able to hit an early-return mail voter with mail, digital, and text before their ballot is returned then turning off communication with that voter after they’ve done so.

For now, governments are looking to expand Vote-By-Mail laws in a timely manner before the election, though they come with ballot security and election integrity concerns. For more on that, check out Brent Buchanan’s interview with Sean Spicer last week on Newsmax.

Cygnal is on the forefront of predictive analytics technology. While we don’t have a crystal ball, predictive analytics is the closest your campaign will get to voter behavior predictions. Drop us a note if you are interested in seeing a case study about how we have successfully implemented predictive analytics in elections past.

We do all the work right here in-house — from gathering the data to running the machine learning analysis to generating the voter scores. Quickly, affordably, and accurately — saving you money while using the latest in tech to nail your strategy during what is sure to be an unprecedented and unique 2020 General Election.


Cygnal is an award-winning national public opinion and predictive analytics firm that pioneered multi-mode polling and peer-to-peer text collection. Cyngal was recently named the #1 private pollster and the #2 pollster overall by Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, as well as the #1 most accurate polling and research firm in the country for 2018 by The New York Times. Its team members have worked in 48 states on more than 1,100 corporate, public affairs, and political campaigns.