Why are we mailing our letters so close to Election Day?

In 2024, we have decided to send letters during a mail window in the month of October, rather than a single mail date. Our choice of when to mail letters is always a balancing act, and we have conducted multiple studies of our own to inform this choice, as well as learning from other get-out-the-vote efforts and considering the specific context for each election. Here are several points we considered that informed our choice this year:

  • In both 2020 and 2022, our own studies indicated that letters sent earlier were slightly more impactful than those sent later. 
  • Several states that we are writing letters to this year have universal mail-in voting, and mail/early voting has expanded greatly since 2020. When the timeline for voting begins earlier, and extends across weeks, rather than just one day, we believe it makes sense to adjust our campaigns to match that timeline. 
  • We are increasingly designing Vote Forward letters to include more ways for voters to find information about the issues, policies, and candidates on their ballots. According to a Knight Foundation study, a large number of non-voters report that they do not have enough information to feel confident casting a vote. When voters receive their letters earlier, they have more time to find the information they need to feel ready.  

In the past, we have chosen a later mail date so that letters arrive right around Election Day. With this year’s mailing window, you have a choice of exactly when to send your letters between October 1 and 29. If you prefer, you may still choose to send your letters at the end of the window.

To ensure that letters sent on the last day of the window do not miss the election, we also regularly review statistics from USPS, and have analyzed our own data to estimate when letters reach voters. Based on this, we feel confident that letters sent at the end of the window will reach voters by Election Day. (Note that if you are located outside the continental U.S., we recommend that you send your letters at least 3 days in advance of the end of the window - i.e., by October 26 - to account for extended delivery times.)