#EpicFail: A Look at GOTV Failures (So You Don’t Repeat Them)

#EpicFail: A Look at GOTV Failures (So You Don’t Repeat Them)

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Friday, Jul. 17 4:30 PM

Ends: Friday, Jul. 17 5:45 PM

Room: 227 A

We love to talk about our GOTV successes: registering 10,000 voters on a shoestring budget, creating a great video that went viral, developing a tech innovation that changed the game. If that’s what you’re looking for, this is not the panel for you. Some of the most successful groups in the voter registration/GOTV space will share their most abject failures. Think of the $80,000 experiment that registered a whopping 6 voters or the $250,000 website that received almost no traffic. Join us for a good-natured laugh as you learn from our mistakes‚Äîand ensure you don’t repeat them in 2016.


Cayden Mak


Cayden Mak is Executive Director at 18MillionRising.org, a digital civic engagement hub for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). As part of 18MR.org’s founding staff, they were an integral part of developing the organization’s vision, voice, analysis, and playbook. In their previous role as Chief Technology Officer, they were the driving force and product manager behind community-centered design for civic tech project VoterVOX, a community-designed matching tool to help find personalized volunteer translation assistance for limited English proficient voters.

Their organizing history also includes cofounding grassroots media startups (youngist.org), cofounding a statewide student organizing network (New York Students Rising), serving as a union officer and staff organizer (CWA 1104, Education Division), and contributing to organizing the Allied Media Conference in Detroit, MI.

Other sessions: Trans Organizers Are Winning the Internet

my website


Debra Cleaver

Debra Cleaver has been working at the intersection of technology and democracy since 2004. She currently serves as the Founder and CEO of Vote.org, a nonprofit that leverages technology to permanently increase voter turnout. In 2016, 6.5 million people visited the Vote.org website; 675,000 used the voter registration tool; 860,000 used the absentee ballot tool; 1.2 million checked their voter registration status; and 2.2 million people signed up for email or SMS election reminders. Vote.org also piloted the first-ever SMS voter registration drive, and ran the single-largest Election Day GOTV drive in the nation.

my website

Daniel Gonzales


Daniel joins the the Analyst Institute as a part of the Training and Outreach team. In this role, he focuses on connecting organizations and campaigns with best practices and the most cutting edge experimental learnings. Prior to AI, Daniel spent 8 years managing civic engagement and policy campaigns in Colorado. Most recently, Daniel served as the founding Program Director at the Colorado Civic Engagement where he helped build the state’s C3 infrastructure. And before joining the Roundtable Daniel served as the Political Director at Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights where Daniel managed the organization’s legislative and civic engagement programs. Daniel has worked on campaigns ranging from defeating the first Personhood Amendment in 2008 to passing Colorado’s landmark Voter Access and Modernized Elections law in 2013.

Other sessions: Is This Thing On? How to Know If Your Online Ads are Working, Field Testing 101: Even the Smallest Campaigns Can Benefit

Annie Weinberg


As the Electoral Director for Democracy for America, the million-member grassroots organization founded in 2004 by former DNC Chairman, Governor Howard Dean, Annie leads a team dedicated to electing strong progressives in critical races nationwide. She comes to DFA with over a decade of experience in organizing, campaigning and issue advocacy – as Chief of Staff for the advocacy foundation of the Congressional Progressive Caucus; as the Campaign Manager for Ilya Sheyman’s top-tier 2012 Illinois Congressional run; and in a host of leadership roles at MoveOn.org, where she most recently spearheaded a new initiative to recruit talented leaders to run for office. As former National Organizer for Food and Water Watch, she built a fellowship program dedicated to fighting water privatization. She’s a graduate of Green Corps, the Field School for Environmental Organizing, and Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied Dance and Environmental Policy.