Thankfully, AVV now has four years of experience using data and networks to turn out votes in tight elections where the Veteran vote can make the difference between winning and losing. How so? We know of over 400k active Republican Veteran voters in Virginia who turn out to vote at an average 55% rate. And the VA estimates over 700k Veterans, all potential voters, live in Virginia. The math is simple – target the 300k non-voting or non-registered Veterans and convince more to register and vote for our endorsed candidates. And, of the 400K Republican Veteran voters, push to raise their voting rate. Easy math – raise the Republican Veteran voting rate by 10% (40,000 more votes) and find and register 10% of non-voting Veterans who are convinced to register and vote for AVV endorsed candidates (30,000 more votes) and AVV can help add 70K or more votes targeted at key races.
Easy math, but hard work. That’s where preparation and planning come into play for the AVV team. Our AVV leaders meet on 20 January to assess the election year that was and set our priorities and actions for the election year ahead. Data to support targeting efforts is already prepared with a final refinement upcoming based on 2023 voting information. Work is near completion on a new Website that enables regional coordination, event planning, member recruitment, donor outreach, and more – all in a polished format with both public and member portals. And our text message tool, event and invite support platform, and email management system is now well tested and ready for deployment once again.
But this has been a hard 2023. There’s no denying a tough, expensive election cycle faces us ahead in 2024. From the AVV perspective, the best planning and best targeting for Veteran engagement and election support falls short without … Veteran engagement. As the saying goes – it briefs well. Much of the solution to this problem has to do with better communication, leadership, and individual motivation. In every instance when we’ve been able to communicate the challenge, the opportunity, and the importance of necessary actions or support to our Veterans and Veteran Supporters, the response has been terrific.
Our mission is to promote the political power of Veterans and Veteran Supporters through collective action in support of Veterans, our Constitution, and our Nation’s security. The “collective” idea is central to our ability to promote change through the ballot box. We achieve results together or we complain apart.
AVV, as an enterprise will keep its steady focus to improve its effective messaging, planning, networking, and operations in support of AVV membership and Veteran voters to achieve our goals. In our election activities, we will target our efforts in those Congressional Districts, and, in statewide races, those localities where Veteran votes make the greatest difference.
Veteran and Veteran Supporters can continue in service as volunteers, participants, and voters, as their own time and interests dictate. But I am steadfast in my own belief that they will rise again to meet a tough challenge as a team for the good of the Nation. We face tough challenges this year but terrific opportunities as well.
Veterans Forward! Every Veteran, Every Vote in 2024!
LTG (R), US Army
CEO, American Veterans Vote