Postcarding

Indivisible Bainbridge Island and North Kitsap Indivisible meet every Wednesday via Zoom from 2 pm to 3:30 pm. Join us! There is no requirement to attend, but it’s nice to see everyone’s face. If you want to be on our weekly email, which includes updates on the postcard campaigns we’re working on, email Kathy.

We are have sets of postcards for these candidates running to flip Republican-held U.S. Senate seats:

  • Dr. Al Gross, running as an independent to flip the seat of Alaska Republican incumbent, Dan Sullivan. Dr. Al is EVEN in the polls with Dan Sullivan.
  • Dr. Barbara Bollier, running as a Democrat of the open U.S. Senate seat in Kansas.
  • Cal Cunningham, running as a Democrat to flip the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican incumbent Lindsey Graham in North Carolina.
  • We are indirectly supporting MJ Hegar, running as a Democrat to flip the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican incumbent John Cornyn in Texas by writing Reclaim Our Vote postcards to voters in Texas.

We are sets of postcards for Washington state candidates for the state legislature, state-wide offices and one congressional district:

  • Gael Tarleton running for Washington state’s Secretary of State.
  • Carrie Hesch, running for a state house seat from legislative district 26.
  • Carolyn Long, running for Washington’s third congressional district.

Send an email to Kathy@mainlandview.com for details on we can provide postcard sets for the above candidates to you so you can get started writing postcards in the Bainbridge Island/Poulsbo/North Kitsap area.

We get addresses from:

  • Postcards to Voters. Now providing addresses for Cal Cunningham in North Carolina.
  • Flip The West. This organization, founded in 2018 to flip California congressional district seats, is now focused on U.S. Senate seats. They provide addresses for Alaska and Kansas.
  • Reclaim Our Vote. This non-partisan organization focues on voters purged from the voter rolls in thse states: North Carolina, Alabama, Texas, Georgia, Arizona, Mississippi, Florida and South Carolina.
  • Postcards4WA.com – in support of Washington state Democratic legislative candidates, still in process of launching for 2020.
  • Postcards To Swing States – formerly Postcards2WI.com, this is an alliance of Chicago-area Indivisible groups now focused on ten critical states (Montana, Kansas, Arizona, Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, Maine, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Iowa) to increase turnout in November. They send the writer the postcards for free. The postcard writer provides the stamps and mails the cards in October. We have completed 1,000 addresses for South Carolina.
  • Grandmothers For a Brighter Future – formerly Grandmothers for Obama; formed in 2008 to support President Obama’s election in North Carolina. Now, the group has writers in 46 states and they are focused the U.S. Senate. We have completed lists for Sara Gideon in Maine and Amy McGrath in Kentucky.

Other writing opportunities:

  • Vote Forward – You sign up and adopt a set of from 5 to 20 voters from one of several key states, such as Texas. These are voters thought to be unreliable Democratic voters. The Vote Forward web site automatically generates a form letter for each voter. You print each form letter and hand write a few sentences of why you always vote. Put each letter in an envelope, address it and stamp it. Mail the letters on Oct. 27, though Vote Forward seems to be thinking of advancing the mail date to something sooner.
  • Navajo/Hopi Organizing Campaign. Sign up for a “shift” here. It looks like you’re signing up for a phonebanking shift, but what really happens is this: within a few days you’ll get an email 25 addresses of Democratic voters in Arizona and a script urging the recipients to vote. This helps Biden flip Arizona and helps elect Democrat Mark Kelly.

How we get/make postcards
Most us buy full sheets of cardstock (requires a paper cutter or a visit to Office Max) or Avery postcard stock and print our own cards using templates provided by Postcards To Voters or designed by ourselves. Some of us make enough cards to distribute to our writers. Some buy USPS pre-stamped cards. Postcards are distributed to writers from the front porch of a writer who lives near the intersection of Finch and Wyatt on Bainbridge Island. Deliveries can be arranged by emailing Kathy.

For the Reclaim Our Vote addresses, we must use cards purchased from Reclaim Our Vote or completely blank cards, also available from the front porch. Email Kathy for addresses. 

About stamps
We use .35 postcard stamps (they are less expensive than stamps for envelopes). They come in rolls of 100 for $35 or sheets of 20 for $7.00. The Bainbridge Island, Suquamish and Poulsbo Post Offices usually have them in stock; rolls of 100 can also be ordered from the USPS . Now that we can no longer meet in-person, we are self-funding.

Mailing postcards
Postcards mailed from the Bainbridge Island Post Office are picked up and processed in Seattle. They get a Seattle postmark. Postcards mailed from Suquamish, Poulsbo and Silverdale get a Tacoma postmark. Sometimes, we have a contact in the state to which cards are addressed, and we bundle them up and mail them to that contact. Upon receipt, the contact mails the cards locally for a local postmark. Is it worth it? Is it worth it to get rid of Trump? Yes!

Postcard writing tips

  • The Post Office really appreciates it if we orient our cards and wrap them with a rubber band before dropping postcards in the mail slot. This saves them the time of having to gather them up and orient them in order to process them. This will give them more time to process other mail, such as ballots, more quickly.
  • Avoid red ink. At least 8% of men and .5% of women have red-green color-blindness, so if you use red ink for highlighting, it doesn’t look like a highlight to these people. Plus, red is the color of that party. Blue or black ink is preferable.
  • The purpose of postcards is not to persuade but to alert the voter about a candidate and an election that’s coming up or to do something like sign up for vote by mail. There’s not much space on a postcard for a lot of words, and most postcards campaigns give us a script that is not to be change. However, sometimes we have to come up with our own words (postcardstovoters.org).
  • Decorate your postcard. 
  • Do not use the “flag” stamp or flag images. Research shows that people associate the United States flag with voting for Republicans. “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel,” said Samuel Johnson, allegedly on April 7, 1775. He must have been thinking of the current “president.” Our president loves the flag

What we’ve learned about postcard writing

  • Postcards to Voters – What the Research Says
  • PostcardsToVoters.org – Results
  • PostcardsToVoters.org is been writing almost exclusively to Florida Democrats for the year, urging them to sign up for vote by mail. Why? Because of all the states, Florida makes it really easy to sign up for vote by mail, and once signed up, the voter gets mail-in ballots for every election for four years. All the voter has to do to get started is to call their local election office. As of July 2020, writers for PostcardsToVoters.org have sent over 900,000 postcards to Florida Democrats for the Florida VBM campaign. Surely that is why, at least in part, Florida Democrats exceed Republicans in vote-by-mail sign-ups by over 300,000 voters. More recently (Sept. 2020) Tom Perez said Democrats have a 700,000 voter edge over Republicans in vote by mail.