Let America Vote proved it on Tuesday: Grassroots organizing for voting-rights champions gets results.

A message from Let America Vote Board Chairman Abe Rakov, Executive Director Suzy Smith and Senior Advisor Brendan Summers

Let America Vote’s boots-on-the-ground-model for advancing voting rights and electing progressive, pro-democracy candidates paid dividends once again on Tuesday, delivering big wins across our five targeted states.

In New Hampshire, Democrats won back the state House and Senate, breaking GOP control and putting the brakes on a voter-suppression agenda. In Nevada, Democrats seized a supermajority in the state Assembly, while voters passed automatic voter registration into law. And across Iowa, Tennessee and Georgia, LAV-backed candidates won 27 seats, rebalancing political maps and bringing new pro-democracy voices into the conversation.

In all, Let America Vote contributed to 100 wins across the country in 2018: 49 victories in seats that flipped from red to blue, and 51 more Democratic holds. Since launching our 2018 field program last June, LAV volunteers and interns knocked on 340,439 doors, made 111,891 calls, and sent 340,888 texts in our five targeted states.

And since Jason Kander founded Let America Vote in February, 2017, we’ve made 1,027,218 direct-voter-contact attempts, providing proof-of-concept for a new model of issue-based, grassroots-focused organizing with applicability and scalability to the major elections of 2019, 2020 and beyond.

We’ve built a list of over 650,000 email supporters, with a majority of supporters residing in Iowa, California, Texas, Missouri, Illinois, New York and Oregon. Our supporters on social media are motivated to action against voter suppression, and we’re driving thousands of calls to secretaries of state and local legislators to fight for pro-voting measures.

Starting with Virginia in 2017 and continuing through Georgia, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and Tennessee this year, Let America Vote has worked directly with existing party and progressive infrastructures, seamlessly integrating into the fabric of our states and adding value in every race we’ve touched. Our teams were led by individuals who knew their states and understood our target districts.

Our goal from the beginning was very simple: to win the political argument against voter suppression by bolstering voting-rights champions and ousting vote suppressors.

We’re especially proud that 73 percent of the candidates supported by Let America Vote’s 2018 coordinated campaign were women. We support voting-rights champions, and choose candidates based on their support for expanding access to the ballot box. We’re proud that mission coincides with supporting and electing women up and down the ballot.

That’s what we’ve done since June, and we saw some historic wins on Tuesday night as a result.


In Iowa, Democrats won seven of the eight state House races in which Let America Vote knocked at least 1,000 doors, helping turn the Des Moines suburbs blue and sharply narrowing the chamber’s GOP majority. LAV-backed candidates Kristin Sunde of West Des Moines, Karin Derry of Johnston and Heather Matson of Ankeny knocked off entrenched incumbents, while Kenan Judge of Waukee won a seat that Democrats did not even contest in 2016. We were a part of flipping eight legislative seats from Republican to Democratic.

    • Overall, we knocked on 92,211 doors and made 32,519 phone calls with 123 volunteers in Iowa.
      • Senate District 7: 6,312 doors for Jackie Smith (flip)
      • House District 14: 3,881 doors for Tim Kacena (hold)
      • House District 38: 14,002 doors for Heather Matson (flip)
      • House District 39: 9,792 doors for Karin Derry (flip)
      • House District 42: 16,133 doors for Kristin Sunde (flip)
      • House District 43: 15,309 doors for Jennifer Konfrst (flip)
      • House District 44: 10,024 doors for Kenan Judge (flip)
      • House District 68: 3,528 doors for Molly Donahue (flip)
      • We also knocked doors on a more limited basis for Amanda Ragan in Senate District 27, a Democratic hold.
      • Finally, we knocked on 33,812 doors in four legislative districts where our candidate didn’t end up winning, and knocked on all 91,221 doors for Secretary of State candidate Deidre Dejear.

New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, where politicians passed some of the most draconian voter suppression bills in the country over the last two years, our grassroots team helped turn both the state House and Senate blue by knocking on more than 80,000 doors. The Let America Vote-New Hampshire team helped flip two dozen legislative seats, and helped clinch a majority in the Senate by knocking more than 23,000 doors across six districts — including almost 3,000 for Democrat Melanie Levesque, who won by just 146 votes.

  • Overall, we knocked on 80,681 doors and made 58,394 phone calls with 293 volunteers in New Hampshire. 

    • Senate District 12: 2,959 doors for Melanie Levesque (flip)
    • Senate District 16: 5,333 doors for Kevin Cavanaugh (hold)
    • Senate District 24: 4,150 doors for Tom Sherman (flip)
    • House District BEL03: 1,232 doors for David Huot (hold)
    • House District BEL09: 2,304 doors for Charlie St. Clair (hold)
    • House District HIL13: 2,563 doors for Kathy Desjardin (hold)
    • House District HIL14: 1,071 doors for Mary Freitas (hold) and Mary Heath (hold)
    • House District HIL15: 2,622 doors for Erika Connors (hold)
    • House District HIL17: 2,181 doors for Heidi Hamer (hold) and Timothy Smith (hold)
    • House District HIL19: 3,373 doors for Ken Snow (hold) and Bob Backus (hold)
    • House District HIL22: 3,695 doors for Megan Murray (hold) and Julie Radhakrishnan (flip)
    • House District HIL23: 4,718 doors for Paul Dargie (flip), Peter Petrigno (flip) and Joelle Martin (hold)
    • House District HIL30: 2,692 doors for Sherry Dutzy (flip), Suzanne Vail (hold) and Patricia Klee (hold)
    • House District HIL32: 2,963 doors for Allison Nutting-Wong (flip), Michael Pedersen (flip) and Dan Toomey (flip)
    • House District HIL34: 2,646 doors for Greg Indruk (flip), Deb Stevens (hold) and Catherine Sofikitis (hold)
    • House District HIL43: 3,634 doors for Richard Komi (flip), Ben Baroody (hold) and Chris Herbert (hold)
    • House District HIL45: 5,554 doors for Jane Beaulieu (hold) and Connie Van Houten (hold)
    • House District MER03: 3,055 doors for Joyce May Fulweiler (flip)
    • House District MER09: 2,623 doors for George Saunderson (flip) and Howard Moffett (hold)
    • House District MER20: 3,000 doors for David Doherty (hold) and Dianne Schuett (hold)
    • House District MER23: 4,200 doors for Samantha Fox (flip), Gary Woods (flip) and Mary Beth Walz (hold)
    • House District ROC09: 1,278 doors for Mark Vallone (flip)
    • House District ROC21: 9,864 doors for Patricia Bushway (flip), Tom Loughman (flip), Mike Edgar (hold), and Renny Cushing (hold)
    • House District STR04: 2,865 doors for Cassandra Levesque (flip) and Matthew Towne (hold)
    • House District STR18: 1,174 doors for Gerri Cannon (flip), Wendy Chase (hold) and Cecilia Rich (hold)
    • House District STR25: 2,865 doors for Amanda Gourgue (hold)
    • House District SUL09: 1,571 doors for Linda Tanner (hold)
    • We also knocked doors on a more limited basis for Sandy Swinburn in House District CHE10, Lee Oxenham and Brian Sullivan House District SUL01, Barry Faulkner and Jennie Gomarlo in House District CHE12, David Coursin in House District ROC01, and Larry Laflamme, Yvonne Thomas and Henry Noel in House District COO03.

    • Finally, we knocked on 47,855 doors on behalf of 19 legislative candidates who didn’t end up winning, and knocked on 21,034 doors for gubernatorial candidate Molly Kelly.


In Georgia on Tuesday, we followed up successful efforts to break a Republican supermajority in a special election last fall with victories in four state Senate seats, knocking more than 15,000 doors in support of Sally Harrell in DeKalb County and 24,000 for Jen Jordan in Cobb County while increasing door capacity for Zahra Karinshak, among other candidates. Harrell’s win, in particular, has been heralded as a major upset. In all, we were part of flipping eight legislative seats from Republican to Democratic.

    • Overall, we knocked on 58,035 doors and made 51,220 phone calls with 149 volunteers in Georgia.
      • Senate District 6: 24,311 doors for Jen Jordan (hold)
      • Senate District 38: 1,805 doors for Horacena Tate (hold)
      • Senate District 40: 16,741 doors for Sally Harrell (flip)
      • Senate District 48: 1,993 doors for Zahra Karinshak (flip)
      • House District 40: 9,044 doors for Erick Allen (flip)
      • House District 51: 2,097 doors for Josh McLaurin (flip)
      • House District 54: 6,970 doors for Betsy Holland (flip)
      • House District 79: 5,319 doors for Mike Wilensky (flip)
      • House District 80: 7,899 doors for Matthew Wilson (flip)
      • House District 81: 3,803 doors for Scott Holcomb (hold)
      • House District 95: 3,937 doors for Beth Moore (flip)
      • At every door in Georgia, we also knocked for gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams
      • We knocked doors on a more limited basis for Mary Frances Williams (House District 37), Mary Robichaux (House District 48), Pam Stephenson (House District 90), Sam Park (House District 101) and Jasmine Clark ( House District 108)
      • And, finally, we knocked on 33,812 doors in 13 legislative districts where our candidate didn’t end up winning.


In Nevada, our boots-on-the-ground team ran one of the largest volunteer-only led programs in the state’s history, working to protect every Assembly and Senate incumbent on the ballot. On Tuesday, LAV-supported candidates Connie Munk and Shea Backus won Republican-held seats in the Assembly, clinching a Democratic supermajority, while Melanie Scheible and Marilyn Dondero-Loop flipped seats in the Senate, giving Democrats 13 of the upper chamber’s 21 seats.

    • Overall, we knocked on 36,212 doors and made 8,163 phone calls with 160 volunteers in Nevada.
      • Senate District 8: 2,559 doors for Marilyn Dondero-Loop (flip)
      • Senate District 9: 8,338 doors for Melanie Scheible (flip)
      • Assembly District 29: 2,669 doors for Lesley Cohen (hold)
      • Assembly District 35: 4,890 doors for Michelle Gorelow (hold)
      • Assembly District 41: 1,341 doors for Sandra Jauregui (hold)
      • Clark County Commission: 6,007 doors for Justin Jones (hold)
      • We also took door knocking shifts for Lt. Governor-elect Kate Marshall (flip), Attorney General-elect Aaron Ford (flip), and the successful Automatic Voter Registration ballot initiative.
      • Let America Vote was proud to endorse Steve Sisolak for Governor because of his commitment to advancing voting rights
      • We knocked doors on a more limited basis for Connie Munk (Assembly District 4), Brittney Miller (Assembly District 5), Steve Yeager (Assembly District 9), Skip Daly (Assembly District 31) and Shea Backus (Assembly District 37).
      • Finally, we knocked on 9,960 doors in three legislative districts where our candidate didn’t end up winning, and knocked 22,290 doors for Secretary of State candidate Nelson Araujo.


In Tennessee, we helped Knoxville state representative candidate Gloria Johnson — who lost by just 182 votes in 2014 and 173 votes 2016 — win her election by more than 2,400 votes. We also helped Bob Freeman flip a Nashville district.

    • Overall, we knocked on 42,379 doors and made 74,976 phone calls with 460 volunteers in Tennessee.
      • House District 13: 6,288 doors for Gloria Johnson (flip)
      • House District 56: 18,270 doors for Bob Freeman (flip)
      • We knocked on 26,187 doors in six legislative districts where our candidate didn’t end up winning, and knocked 12,374 doors for gubernatorial candidate Karl Dean.

We also endorsed five successful candidates outside of our five states because of their commitment to voting rights who won on Tuesday:

    • Jocelyn Benson, Michigan Secretary of State (flip)
    • Jena Griswold, Colorado Secretary of State (flip)
    • Maggie Toulouse Oliver, New Mexico Secretary of State (hold)
    • Alex Padilla, California Secretary of State (hold)
    • Brianna Lennon, Boone County, Mo., Clerk (flip)


Let America Vote began with a new approach to state-level organizing for an issue-focused national campaign organization. We passed our first test in Virginia in 2017, delivering real results for legislative and statewide candidates.

Our sustained grassroots efforts over the past five months and the election-night successes we recorded on Tuesday further demonstrate the value of that model. Let America Vote’s approach to creating political consequences for voter suppression works. It helps elect pro-voting candidates in key races. Period.

By energizing a national activist network on a critical issue, making meaningful voter contacts in targeted states and standing shoulder-to-shoulder with existing campaign infrastructures, we’ve redefined the role a national issue-driven political organization can play in state and local races.

The efforts made by our team and volunteers don’t show up in the headlines the day after an election, but they are what win elections. We worked day in and day out starting conversations and making connections to ensure voters understood why supporting voting-rights champions — and voting for candidates like Sally Harrell, Heather Matson, Kevin Cavanaugh, Sandra Jauregui and Bob Freeman — would matter to them.

Because of our hard work, voting-rights champions have made historic gains and found unprecedented success. Because of our hard work, politicians across the country will think twice before trying to suppress their way to victory, and more eligible voters will have access to the ballot box.

Let America Vote is poised to continue leading in the voting rights space, and bridging the divide between voting rights policy and electoral politics. As long as there are politicians making it harder to vote, Let America Vote will be there making it harder for them to be re-elected.

This fight will go on in 2019, 2020 and beyond. To be part of it, text VOTE to 44939.