Below is a summary of each search criterion available through Create A List. These will help you target your lists in more complex ways.
This field refers to the voting address(es) on file for specific voters.
- It allows a user to further narrow their search criteria based on specific zip codes, distances from zip codes, or street names and numbers.
- Users can focus their searches by designating an “Added Since” date to find only recent or older addresses. "Source" and "Type" designate where addresses were uploaded from or if they are mailing addresses or voting addresses.
- Checking "Walkable houses" can improve your turf cutting immensely. It removes houses that have been marked unreachable from your list. Similarly, checking "Geocoded restricts" your lists to houses added to VAN’s mapping system.
- This criterion is particularly useful for list-building. By narrowing your list to recently updated addresses, excluding unwalkable houses, and ensuring PO Boxes are excluded, your volunteers and staff will be far less likely to get stuck on a house they can’t find.
Age - Registration Date
This field refers to information relating to voters' birthdays and when they last registered to vote.
- This tab is useful when searching for voters of a particular generation, or for recently registered voters. Using age ranges, you can find only older or younger voters and tailor your message specifically to them.
- Voter registration dats allow you to contact only newly registered voters. You could be the first canvasser they ever speak to as a registered voter!
API Saved Lists
API Saved Lists refer to the lists you’ve created in the various platforms that can connect with VAN, like Hustle.
- This section should otherwise be blank.
- This section will allow you to keep track of lists you use with external programs.
Applicant Status refers to the status of people’s voter registration. When the New York Democratic Party uploads people into the Voter Registration tab in Votebuilder as a part of our registration effort, that will be marked as an Applicant Status.
Applicant Status can quickly find lists of unregistered voters to canvass during voter registration efforts.
Blast Email is VAN’s built-in email tool.
- Each of the sub-criteria listed refer to different elements of this tool. You can create lists based on who emails were sent to, if and when they were read or interacted with, and if the emails bounced or resulted in the receiver unsubscribing.
- Blast Email can be helpful in creating lists of folks your campaign is already in touch with to follow up or make additional asks.
Canvass Status refers to all of the voters that your campaign has spoken to over its duration.
- The core of Canvass Status is the very first drop-down box. In it, you can select either to Include Only or Exclude. Include Only will put only people that match your criteria into the list, while exclude will remove them.
- Once you’ve selected one of these options, the rest of Canvass Status will open up. The checkboxes below will each either include or exclude certain people. These boxes contain common responses to canvassers: Canvassed, Not Home, Disconnected, and more*.
- Each checkbox below will further affect your list. You can search for specific MiniVAN Campaigns, by input and contact types, or even by canvasser to pull up the data for a specific staff member or volunteer.
- The last two important options are Date Entered and Origin. Date Entered restricts the canvassing data by date. Origin can restrict your lists to data originating only from VAN or include data from elsewhere.
Custom Contact Fields
Custom Fare not in use by campaigns. However, if any ad-hoc data is input here by the State Admin such as an off-year or special election vote history, this is where you would find it.
Early Voting refers to whether or not people have already voted early as well as the status of their ballot applications.
- The first two checkboxes will either include or exclude only those who have early voted or voted absentee.
- For Get Out the Vote, excluding people who have already voted can be a tremendous help. Instead of wasting resources talking to folks who’ve already turned out, you can focus your efforts on turning out every Democrat possible.
This field refers to to the emails (and the associated voters) that you have collected in your VAN over the course of your campaign. Here, you can search based on when an email was added, the email type, and subscription status.
- Remember that emails in My Voters are all collected by your campaign - we don’t share emails across committees in VAN to reduce the chance emails are flagged as spam. Searching by Email will only include those whose emails your campaign has uploaded into VAN.
Home Districts allows a user to generate a list based on County, Precinct, Senate District, House District, or Municipality.
- Home Districts initially only displays a few options. However, once you select the County, several more options will appear.
- You will have to select a County before you are able to view any of these options.
Household Party Counts
Household Party Counts allows you to select people who live with a certain number of members of a specific political party.
Household Sex Counts
Household Sex Counts allows you to include only houses with certain numbers of people of either or both sexes living there.
This criterion can help target larger or smaller households, or help zero in on specific demographics.
Likely Ethnic Subgroup, Ethnicity, and Religion
These three sections seem similar but have some key differences. Please read carefully!
Likely Ethnic Subgroup
Likely Ethnic Subgroup refers to the ethnic group assigned to voters based on VAN’s best guess. This is not self-reported, nor is it necessarily accurate. Likely Ethnic Subgroup is calculated using a model and tends to be more accurate in larger searches.
- There are three levels for each possibility: High, Medium, and Low. Each level adds an additional layer of accuracy. A High likelihood will generally include voters who have confirmed their ethnic subgroup at some point, while a Low likelihood will generally be a guess based on VAN’s estimation.
- Likely Ethnic Subgroup can help zero in on specific demographic groups to convey a more targeted message.
- If yours is wrong: Likely Ethnic Subgroup is calculated by VAN using an automated equation that takes its “best guess” based on a series of data points. Because this process is automated, we are unable to change the information listed here. We hope to move towards a more accurate system in the near-future.
Likely Ethnic Subgroup refers to the ethnicity assigned to voters based on VAN’s best guess. This is not self-reported, nor is it necessarily accurate. Likely Ethnicity instead is calculated using a model and, while overwhelmingly accurate, is sometimes off the mark.
- There are three levels for each possibility: High, Medium, and Low. Each level adds an additional layer of accuracy. A High likelihood will generally include voters who have confirmed their ethnicity at some point, while a Low likelihood will generally be a guess based on VAN’s estimation.
- This search criterion can help zero in on specific demographic groups to convey a more targeted message.
- If yours is wrong: Likely Ethnicity is calculated by VAN using an automated equation that takes its “best guess” based on a series of data points. Because this process is automated, we are unable to change the information listed here. We hope to move towards a more accurate system in the near-future.
Likely Ethnic Subgroup refers to the religion assigned to voters based on VAN’s best guess. This is not self-reported, nor is it necessarily accurate. This estimate tends to be based on either demographics and traits or previous voter contacts, and is sometimes incorrect, more so than Likely Ethnic Group and Ethnicity.
- Likely Religion can help with outreach to specific religious communities.
- If yours is wrong: Religion is calculated by VAN using an automated equation that takes its “best guess” based on a series of data points. Because this process is automated, we are unable to change the information listed here. We hope to move towards a more accurate system in the near-future.
My Campaign Record
This field refers to whether or not a voter has a saved record in MyCampaign. These can refer to lawn sign requesters, volunteers, event attendees etc. depending on your campaign has set up MyCampaign. This can help you focus on high-propensity supporters or remove them from your lists entirely.
My Saved Lists
This field refers to the lists you (or someone who has shared a list with you) has created and saved in the past.
- This feature allows you to instantly pull a previously used list back up (e.g., everyone from yesterday’s text universe, or a list you obtained from an open records request). You can expand previous lists by including those voters on top of another list, or do the opposite by removing them.
Users can create lists by first and/or last name.
- Note that the search will return possible variations of the name unless the user checks the “Search for exact name” box.
- Searching by name, in addition to other criteria, will also eliminate people who appear as “unknown” in VAN.
- Sometimes, the information you have for a voter is limited. You can use Name in addition to other criteria to try to find voters based on whatever information you do have access to. For instance, you know their last name and voting history (which Quick Lookup does not allow you to search by), but nothing for their address.
Notes refers to the notes added to voters’ profiles by your VAN committee. Notes are entirely local, and you will not see notes added by other people’s campaigns.
- Notes are helpful when you want to keep track of useful information that doesn’t fit elsewhere. Examples could include adding information on voters who need rides to the polls or simply recording important parts of conversations had with voters that you want to keep track of for later.
- However, we do not recommend using Notes for keeping track of important data. Marking information like canvassed status, do not contact requests, and other issues should be done in Canvass History or Survey Questions. Retrieving this data from complex notes will be difficult.
This field is not currently in use.
This field allows you narrow your list by all parties.
This field refers to the phone numbers connected with voters’ VAN accounts, the various attributes associated with them, and the likelihood they are still in service. You can narrow your search by the likelihood the number is a cell phone as well.
- By restricting lists to certain Phone Quality Scores or Phone Types, you can guarantee your Virtual Phone Banks are comprised of working phone numbers.
- These scores, which range from Very High to Very Low, measure the likelihood that a phone number is still in service or has been disconnected or is unavailable. Higher scores mean the phone number is more likely to work, while lower scores mean it has been flagged as likely to no longer work.
- Narrowing your list to phones, in addition to other criteria, will also clear names with no phone numbers from your list.
- Contacts can have more than one phone number that may be outdated. As you call through, you are also cleaning up data and you aren’t leaving anyone out if you’re in a phase of your campaign where your targets are broader.
Precinct-Level NCEC Data
Precinct-Level NCEC Data refers to information provided by the National Committee for an Effective Congress.
Program Type refers to voters included in specific outreach programs; specifically, Field-Applicant, Field-Pledge, and Web, and when and by who people were included in these programs.
Relationships refer to the sparingly-used categories assigned to certain voters for categorization purposes.
RoboCalls refers to calls made using VAN’s RoboCalls tool, a part of the Campaign Phone Tools package. It can find people called using this system based on date and result.
- If your campaign is using VAN's native RoboCall tool, this can be useful.
This field allows you to search for voters with Score values within a specified range. A “score” is a number - generally between 0 and 100 - calculated and assigned to voters based on specific criteria.
- Your campaign will have access to scores from the DNC and other vendors such as Civis and TargetSmart.
These are automatically enabled filters that remove people who have been marked as “Deceased” or having a “Bad Address”, as well as other filters.
- It is recommended that the “Remove all Suppressions” option be used in EVERY step of a search.
- It is important to remove folks who do
This field refers to the demographic groups voters have identified themselves as belonging to either to a canvasser or through another public means.
Sex (Source File)
This field refers to the sex that voters identify as on the source file used to populate VAN's database.
This field is not currently in use.
This field is not currently in use.
Voter Status and Voter Registration
Voter Status and Voter Registration refers to information about when and how a registered voter’s information was uploaded into VAN.
- By default, Registered Active and Suspense are checked. That’s good - that just means voters currently able to vote on New York voter rolls will be included.
- One helpful tool is checking the New Voter box. By searching only for New Voter, you can find folks who have only recently gotten involved.
This field allows you to filter your list to only voters who have voted in certain elections or combinations of elections.
- You will first have to specify how you would like to select voters based on their participation. Each is self-explanatory: “Any” will select folks who participated in any selected election, “All” in all selected elections, and so on.
- Special Election data - referring to off-year elections only to fill vacant seats - is often not included in this tab. This information is sometimes available by request, depending on availability.