What is Votebuilder?
Votebuilder is the common name for the Voter Activation Network (VAN). It is a collaborative project between the Democratic National Committee, the Delaware Democratic Party, local party units, and Democratic campaigns in Delaware.
In recent years, Votebuilder has become the backbone of nearly every major Democratic campaign. In simple terms, it is an online database management program that allows campaigns to easily utilize the state voter records to mobilize Democratic voters and volunteers.
Who can gain access to Votebuilder?
Any Democratic Candidate running for office in Delaware with an active campaign committee may purchase votebuilder access. The cost of Votebuilder will vary depending on the level of office (Statewide, County/Citywide, State Senate/County Council, State House/City Council). Campaigns can purchase votebuilder access by completing the Voterfile Memo and Contract 2019 & 2020 found at the bottom of this webpage.
Representative District Committees are provided with Votebuilder access to assist with their party building duties. RD access is intended to supplement individual campaign access, not supplant it. For committee members to gain access to Votebuilder, they need to have approval from their committee chair.
How much does Votebuilder access cost?
The cost associated with Votebuilder varies depending on the elected office being sought. Costs are tiered by the size of the constituency and committees only have access to the district they’re running in. Primary and endorsement status does not influence cost.
- State House/City Council - $250
- State Senate/County Council - $350
- County/City-wide - $1,500
- Statewide - $5,000
Do I need to pay my filing fee to gain access to Votebuilder?
No, a candidate does not have to pay their filing fee to buy Votebuilder access. The candidate only needs to have an active campaign committee established with the Delaware Department of Elections.
How do endorsements affect Votebuilder?
Endorsement status does not influence votebuilder access in any way. Democratic candidates involved in a primary can gain access to Votebuilder regardless of whether or not they are endorsed.
The State Party will not revoke or alter access if an endorsement is made after a candidate has purchased votebuilder access.
Who can view data that I enter into votebuilder?
Only users who have access to your votebuilder committee will be able to see the data you enter into votebuilder. Each committee operates independently with self-contained data.
State Party administrators may also access each votebuilder committee. This is purely for administrative and troubleshooting purposes.
Where does the data in Votebuilder come from?
The default data in votebuilder comes from voter registration records maintained by the Delaware Department of Elections. This includes name, address, home phone number, vote history, and more. There are also pieces of data that are provided by the Democratic Party, like scores and cell phone numbers. This part of Votebuilder is known as My Voters. Anyone who is a registered voter in Delaware will appear in the My Voters side of Votebuilder.
Everything else in Votebuilder is data that the campaigns themselves add to the system over the course of the cycle. One of the data sets unique to each campaign is the My Campaign part of votebuilder. Whereas My Voters is based on information the Dept. of Elections provides, My Campaign is based purely on data that each individual campaign enters into the system. If a campaign is using votebuilder for the first time there will not be any records in the My Campaign side of votebuilder. Records must be added by the campaign itself.
What is My Voters used for?
My Voters is used to organize voter outreach. The system is used to generate lists for canvassing and phone banking. Campaigns also use this side of votebuilder to keep records on their outreach efforts and inform their strategies.
What is My Campaign used for?
Most political campaigns will use the My Campaign side of Votebuilder to manage their volunteer efforts. Because My Campaign is not tied to voter registration records, campaigns are able to add people who may not be registered to vote in Delaware but are still active with their campaign. My Campaign also provides tools focused on volunteers.
Why can’t I just use the Department of Elections file?
Campaigns are more than welcome to use the Department of Elections’ file. The file will only be a .txt file of raw data and will not include any of the voter and volunteer tools that Votebuilder is used for.
Are there email addresses in Votebuilder?
No, there are no email addresses included in Votebuilder by default. Unlike phone numbers and addresses, the Department of Elections does include email addresses in their records. Campaigns can add email addresses to individuals in Votebuilder on their own. These email addresses will only be visible to that particular committee.
How up to date is the data in votebuilder?
The voter registration records in Votebuilder are updated once every month. The Department of Elections sends a file to the State Party who then uploads it to Delaware’s entire Votebuilder system. Individual campaigns do not need to update voter registration records. They will see these updated records automatically.
Do I need to download anything?
No, Votebuilder is accessed entirely through your web browser. Your account and any work that you do is stored online rather than on your computer. This means that, as long as you have internet access, you will be able to access your work from any computer. Votebuilder should work without issue with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and most other web browsers regardless of the operating system.
What do I need to use Votebuilder?
You will need a computer with internet access. You will not be able to access Votebuilder unless you have a user profile created by an administrator.
While not absolutely necessary, it is highly recommended to have access to a decent-quality printer for printing walk lists.
If you plan on using MiniVAN, you will also need a smartphone and the MiniVAN app.
What is miniVAN?
MiniVAN is the votebuilder companion app and is not a mobile version of the complete votebuilder suite. MiniVAN is primarily used in place of paper walk lists. Users can access lists generated in Votebuilder from MiniVAN. The app then allows canvassers to enter the results of their outreach effort digitally, saving time, paper, and money.
What if I have additional questions?
Please contact our Date File Manager, Travis Williams, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, the full votebuilder handbook, the VANual is available in the attachments below.