Starting Monday, ordering a free “Josh for Governor” yard sign will be as easy as responding to a text message for Pennsylvania voters.
The Josh Shapiro campaign’s new voter outreach program mixes voter file data and gig economy-like delivery services to create “a universe that is primed” to accept good old-fashioned yard signs. By leveraging the campaign’s texting program, volunteers in the campaign’s textbanking program will ask voters directly whether they’d like to receive a sign to support the Democratic gubernatorial candidate.
Once a voter accepts, their information is sent over to the campaign, where the data is sorted into delivery routes. Then, volunteers sign up for delivery shifts and receive a route through a “delivery driver app.”
The campaign is using Circuit Route Planner, a mobile delivery app that promises to “make delivery easy for everyone” through coordinating routes for contract deliveries. For the Shapiro campaign, it means coordinating an ad hoc delivery network that connects supporters with both yard signs and campaign volunteers.
“This is the launch of an innovative program that uses digital tools to get yard signs directly to Pennsylvanians’ doors”
“This is the launch of an innovative program that uses digital tools to get yard signs directly to Pennsylvanians’ doors,” a Shapiro spokesperson said over email on Friday. “Typically, of course, these tools are only used for fundraising or mobilization.”
While the delivery program is new, voters will still be able to pick up free yard signs in person at field offices or order them online for mail delivery.
“Interestingly, we have seen extremely positive response rates to this text outreach so far – and we expect that to continue as the race heats up and more people gain interest in signs,” the spokesperson said.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro is running against Donald Trump-endorsed Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano for Pennsylvania governor. A recent Fox News poll found that Democrats like Shapiro and US Senate candidate John Fetterman tout a promising lead months ahead of the November midterm elections. Voters support Shapiro over Mastriano by a 50–40 margin, the poll said.
Mastriano is one of the handful of far-right Republican nominees that attended the January 6th attack on the Capitol. He’s also repeatedly promoted QAnon conspiracy theories and was recently endorsed by Andrew Torba, the CEO of the social media site Gab. In July, HuffPost reported that Mastriano’s campaign paid Gab a $5,000 “consulting” fee that preceded a boost in Mastriano’s following on the platform.
After Trump lost Pennsylvania to President Joe Biden in 2020, the Keystone State midterms have become some of the most crucial in the country and could shape major policy decisions like abortion and voting rights in the future.
Update August 1st, 2022, at 10:21AM ET: Added a line clarifying that delivery driver volunteers do not ask voters if they would like a sign. The messages come from volunteers on the Shapiro campaign’s formal textbanking program.