Vote Forward (sometimes stylized Vote FWD or VoteFWD) is a Democratic-aligned voter registration and mobilization PAC (political action committee). The PAC provides template letters for individuals to complete, sign, and send urging voter participation from unlikely registered voters to increase Democratic voter turnout.
Vote Forward was established by Scott J. Forman in 2017. Forman, a Harvard graduate and product manager, built Vote Forward as an experiment for the 2017 Alabama U.S. Senate special election. Scott J. Forman stated, “I started @votefwd [Vote Forward] in 2017 to channel my own concern and anger about our politics into action.”
Vote Forward was designed as an online platform to increase Democratic voter turnout for the 2018 midterm elections. Vote Forward allows individuals to sign up to send “please vote” letters to unlikely registered voters in key swing districts for Democratic candidates. Vote Forward receives its mailing lists for districts from state election boards, which provide voter rolls and voting histories to political organizations and the public in the interest of electoral systems transparency.
Vote Forward targeted specific swing districts that were projected to have the greatest influence on control of the U.S. House of Representatives. The PAC used Swing Left’s list of 78 districts and a congressional model by the website FiveThirtyEight, which analyzes opinion polls, to determine which districts had the closest margin for a Democratic victory. Swing Left is a Democratic PAC that raised $10 million for 2018 Democratic candidates.
Vote Forward lists several critical districts and gives a description of the candidates running in those districts. The PAC provides a more positive portrayal of Democrat candidates and a less favorable description of Republican candidates. The PAC’s most notable listed districts included Florida’s 26th Congressional District, Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District, and Michigan’s 8th Congressional District.
Association with Left-Wing Organizations
Vote Forward partnered with Act 4 Impact to host a voter turnout and letter-writing sponsoring event in October 2018. Act 4 Impact was founded in 2018 as a social justice group by Cynthia Cohen, a strategist and consultant for startup companies.
Vote Forward also partnered with the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Action Fund, a political action committee that attempts to elect “pro-environment” politicians, to have members send “please vote” letters to key voters during the 2018 midterm election.
In 2018, Vote Forward’s most notable vender was ActBlue, a fundraising platform for left-wing organizations and Democratic Party-aligned PACs. Vote Forward’s donation page directly links to ActBlue’s website to allow the PAC to raise funds.