Organization Trends

State Voices: The Left-Wing Nonprofit That Made 140 Million Voter Contacts in 2022

In September, two months before the 2022 elections, the Republican National Committee (RNC) announced that the committee had “surpassed another historic milestone: over 50 million voter contacts made cycle-to-date.” This January, State Voices, a nonprofit that convenes and coordinates left-wing nonprofit activist groups across the nation, issued a similar statement.

In 2022, the State Voices network made 140 million voter contacts “including 1.9 million calls, 34.5 million texts, and over 1 million doors, and 90 million contacts over mail via Voter Participation Center.” They also reported registering 820,000 new voters and making 3 million voter contacts during the Senate run-off election in Georgia.

Clearly, 140 million is a much larger number than 50 million, but while many have heard of the RNC, few have heard of State Voices. Who is State Voices, and why are they contacting so many voters?

ACORN Reborn

In the early 2000s the most powerful left-of-center nonprofit activism group in the country was the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN for short. The group convened protestors, organized rallies, supported ballot initiatives to change laws, and generally worked to move American politics leftward. Originally founded in Arkansas, ACORN grew nationwide using a system of state-level chapters under the national head that worked hard to get out the vote for left-wing causes in their respective states. ACORN was highly effective at reaching and mobilizing voters, winning numerous victories until it collapsed amid scandal in 2010.

State Voices is essentially today’s new and improved ACORN.

Operating in 25 states, State Voices organizes “state engagement tables” that bring together most, if not all, the major left-wing nonprofit activism organizations within the state. Using weekly office hours, meetings, email blasts, and conference calls, the state tables gather up scattered single-issue activist groups and coordinate their get-out-the-vote efforts, protests, and awareness campaigns to be more effective and “intersectional.” Their state tables bring together a whopping 1,200 partner activists and activist groups with thousands of volunteers and employees.

How Is State Voices So Effective?

State Voices is extremely impressive.

In their 2022 annual report, State Voices claimed partial credit for successful ballot initiatives that raised the minimum wage in Nebraska, increased taxes in Massachusetts, inflated early childhood education budgets in New Mexico, and amended the Michigan state constitution to include a right to abortion. That’s not to mention their 140 million voter contacts and 820,000 registrations that undoubtedly impacted election results in swing states. Their successes aren’t new, either. During the 2020 cycle, State Voices reported making 124 million voter contacts, and registering 2.1 million new voters.

How could just one organization do so much?

It’s important to note that neither State Voices nor even their state engagement tables are operating alone. State Voices is not out on the streets doing the heavy lifting. That’s up to the state-based partners. What State Voices does is train, equip, fund, and organize the partners to supercharge their operations.

When it comes to securing funding, State Voices is no slouch. State Voices raised and re-granted $8.7 million to the state engagement tables in 2022 and $9.4 million in 2020. The state tables, in turn, distribute funds to their partners, ensuring State Voices a certain level of influence as a funder while giving the partner organizations a reason to keep collaborating.

The money that isn’t sent to the partners is then spent on training and equipping activists with “civic tech” tools that would normally be outside the reach most of small-time state activists. The State Voices Tools for All program gives partners access to Catalist, a Democrat-aligned database containing the information on 240 million voters; the State Voices Voter Action Network, which helps manage online activism campaigns using the Catalist database; and the State Voices Data Certification Program, which trains activists to become “data practitioners” and use the NGP VAN database, another of the Democratic Party’s largest voter databases. Since 2017, State Voices has trained at least 520 NGP VAN “data practitioners.”  In addition, the State Voices Tools and Tech Guide gives aspiring activist groups a full list of all the digital wizardry tools, databases, and office equipment they might need to start up a Democratic-vote-getting nonprofit of their own.

In exchange for all this, all State Voices asks for is a bit of their time and for all newly gathered voter information to be sent back up the chain to populate the Democratic Party’s all-important voter databases. That’s not merely speculation. In its 2020 annual report, State Voices bragged openly that its partners added 100 million phone numbers to the NGP VAN database, which were then sold by NGP VAN to virtually every single Democratic campaign.

An Elegant System

It’s a beautifully simple scheme. Instead of building from the ground up, State Voices created a network to rival ACORN by enticing existing groups into their fold with funding and free access to expensive, state-of-the-art tools. Calling this work charity, they have cost-effectively built a get-out-the-vote empire larger than even the RNC.

Yet there is no semblance of charity in this work, no matter what garbled language is used to describe it. Leaked memos from Democratic super PACs (political action committees) confirm that left-wing get-out-the-vote nonprofits targeting minority groups are “4 to 10 times more cost-effective” at netting Democratic votes when compared to traditional PAC spending.

Because of their tax-exempt status, State Voices and groups like it can draw on the tax-free money of billionaires alive and dead, foreign and domestic, that is stored in the American charitable sector, and spend every penny on getting people from their chosen Democrat-favoring demographics in swing states to vote. This corruption of the nonprofit sector is transparent, yet the IRS and FEC have both turned blind eyes because words like “representation” and “equitable” get thrown around.

Parker Thayer

Parker Thayer is a Investigative Researcher at Capital Research Center. A native of Michigan, he recently graduated from Hillsdale College.
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