Letters, Digital Ads and Ballot Guides: Things That Worked (And Didn’t) to Protect Democracy Downballot in 2022

Letters, Digital Ads and Ballot Guides: Things That Worked (And Didn’t) to Protect Democracy Downballot in 2022

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Friday, Jul. 14 1:30 PM (Central)

Ends: Friday, Jul. 14 2:30 PM (Central)

Room: Salon C-5/6

After a decade of watching conservatives dominate downballot races, 2022 was a turning point. We flipped state legislatures, won governorships and won key ballot initiatives. We even defeated every single election denier running for secretary of state in a swing state. In many cases, the candidates and issues lower down outperformed the top of the ticket. How did we get there? First, there were some horrible candidates on the other side and great ones on ours. But across the movement, there was also an explosion of experimentation at the state and national level. And we learned a lot about how to ensure voters know and understand the stakes of every race.


Joe Hines


Joe is the Managing Director of Digital Campaigns at Stand Up America, leading a 12-person digital team to mobilize 2 million members in the fight to build a more representative democracy.

Before Stand Up America, Joe was a vice president at BerlinRosen, helping dozens of movement and advocacy organizations create and scale digital campaigns. In that role, he organized homecare workers to win higher pay, threw parties near polling places to increase turnout, mobilized prominent Hollywood writers to fire their talent agents, and ran persuasion ads to elect a record-breaking wave of Black candidates in 2018. He was particularly proud to create and run the digital program for Reverend William Barber’s Poor People’s Campaign, building a nationwide online-to-offline movement with hundreds of thousands of members. Joe started in digital at Demos, a progressive think tank led by Heather McGhee, where he worked to mainstream big, progressive ideas like automatically registering voters, making college free, and paying workers a living wage.

Originally from the West Coast, Joe also spent a few years as a field organizer, working to elect gubernatorial and congressional candidates and close coal plants with the Sierra Club.


Emily Wasserman

I joined Vote Forward in 2020 to design and run RCTs of our volunteer-driven voter contact, and in the three years since, we’ve built out that program to include many types of research and experimentation. In previous roles, I worked at the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative and the Morality Lab at Boston College.