A record number of people are expected to vote by mail in this year’s presidential election, as many states have expanded access to the option due to health and safety concerns related to Covid-19.
In light of this, a progressive grassroots organization called Vote From Home 2020 is sending mail-in ballot applications to a particular subset of voters in three swing states—Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina—in hopes of getting Joe Biden into the White House. It recently tapped Duncan Channon, an independent agency based in San Francisco, to help spread the word.
The voters that the organization is sending applications to are ones that it considers “dual risk.” On its site, Vote From Home 2020 defines them as people who are “most likely to contract and die from Covid-19 and the least likely to request mail-in ballots.”
These are, for the most part, Black and brown Americans who’ve been disproportionately affected by Covid-19. Figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month found that Black people are more than two times as likely to die from Covid-19 than white people.
Research also shows that Black people are less likely to vote by mail than their white counterparts. According to U.S. Census data, 11% of Black voters cast their ballot by mail during the 2018 midterm elections, while 24% of white voters did.
By sending these voters mail-in ballot applications, along with prepaid return postage and instructions that detail how to cast a ballot by mail, Vote From Home 2020 is trying to make the voting process easier and safer for them.
Duncan Channon is providing pro bono support to the organization to help it garner donations and volunteers ahead of the election. The agency created a campaign called “Suppress This” that details how voters of color have historically faced barriers at the polls.
The campaign, which includes digital, print, video and radio assets, highlights the fact that things like polling location closures, long wait lines and voter ID laws impact Black and brown voters at a higher rate.
“They can close your polling place. But they can’t take your ballot,” one ad reads. The campaign not only encourages voters to apply for a mail-in ballot online, but also asks people to consider donating to Vote From Home 2020.
A $25 donation can help it send applications to 20 voters in the aforementioned swing states, according to the organization. Vote From Home 2020 is also looking for volunteers to help it send follow-up texts and calls to voters once they’ve received their application form.
MJ Deery, director of Duncan Channon’s purpose practice, said the agency was able to secure $150,000 worth of donated media for the campaign. Ads will run on Buzzfeed, Pandora, Vevo, Entertainment Weekly and others.
“As you can see from the photography and the tone of the copy, we really don’t shy away from the anger that is very real in America right now,” Deery said. “We wanted to reflect that anger and put a lot of energy and edge into a campaign that is desperate to reach people.”
Agency: Duncan Channon
Creative director: MJ Deery
Senior art director: Jessica Wyatt
Senior designer: Shannon Burns
Copywriter: John Evans
Senior copywriter: Madeline Lambie
Art director: Kat Michie
Studio manager: Shaz Kuerschner
Studio designer: Scott Whipple
Production artist: Phat Trieu