Smart Senate Candidates Are Building Their Own Databases

Candidates for U.S. Senate raise and spend gargantuan amounts of dough -- much of it their own.  Spending your own bucks does have a way of focusing the mind.  Several soon-to-be candidates are looking to field their own statewide database to freeze fraud and profile every voter. We spoke with two.

They aren’t looking to the RNC.  There is enough evidence from 2022 that the RNC data is abhorrent.  Our Fractal team ran RNC data for several states and it is so bad as to be useless.  The RNC uses obsolete technology -- relational database, SQL -- and it will take millions of dollars to achieve mediocrity.

Mediocre databases don’t win competitive elections.

If you are a MAGA candidate, for any office, you are unlikely to get even the mediocre RNC data.

Senate candidates, spending their own dough, have some cool ideas -- which is refreshing to hear.

In a recent call, one soon-to-be candidate looked at our election fraud database and offered innovative ideas of how to use it for electioneering.  He wants to freeze ballots going to phantoms. 

Since we identify, with a single click every location which cannot legitimately receive a ballot, he wants his team visiting every registrar’s office with a live demonstration of their voter rolls against their property tax records -- from a tablet, real-time. 

His team shows, at scale for the entire county, in every county, where ballots are currently poised to go out but should not.

Using artificial intelligence, Fractal profiles every address in every county to determine if an address:

  • Cannot receive mail (vacant lot)
  • Can receive mail, but not a ballot (bank, 7-Eleven)
  • Can receive both mail and a ballot, but not for Clarence, as he does not have his APT # on the voter roll
  • Will receive a mail-in ballot, because Florence is on the election roll, but Florence’s address is not the apartment building, it is the clubhouse with no bedrooms -- thus no ballot should be sent to her
  • Is a location where Raul and 12 other voters live, they registered there in 2008, but the building was not constructed until 2020, filling a previously vacant lot
  • Is a hotel with 21 registered voters.  Most of them have been there for over 5 years -- kind of a long hotel stay

Our new acquaintance is interested in a “forever database.”  He wants to take snapshots of every voter, every month, against every property tax record and track changes -- now and into the future.  Like a modern marketing company, he sees the voter as the customer and customers change locations, habits, over time. 

The frequency of the changes are as important as the changes themselves.

He understands the value of historical data, from lots of sources, tied to every registered voter in his state at his fingertips in real time, one click away. His view, which is compelling, is that zip codes and neighborhoods tell a story.  As voters move from one neighborhood to another they leave breadcrumbs about where they are in life.

On the election fraud side, he has an idea we are building into the system pronto. 

In 2022 voter integrity teams found armies of phantom voters.  But few were taken off voter rolls. 

The data about Mary Sue being a phantom is very important and it drives lots of possible actions.  Let’s make that an attribute of Mary Sue and track her forever -- with the real-time database.

A phantom once is a phantom in the future -- let’s track them across snapshots, and let’s not waste marketing dollars on her.

Our soon-to-be candidate understands you do not need to stop all phantoms for 2024 -- just 20% is enough to win the election. 

He also understands we can score phantoms and real voters so his mail and canvassing expenses are reduced by up to 40% -- since he won’t send mail to phantoms and he will knock on the door of only real voters. 

His primary challenger -- using the RNC database -- will flood the phantoms with mail.

His ideas are the future because his database is a living, growing entity -- becoming more valuable each time it is updated -- and it is updated constantly.  With monthly snapshots, a senator would have 72 snaphsots -- compared instantly -- for every one of the millions of voters in their state.

Every voter and every address are profiled in detail.  Voter attributes accumulate -- voter history, contribution history, federal programs they utilize, donations to charities.  These are mostly public databases but they are so large and their formats challenging, they cannot be ingested and tied to voters and addresses.

The Fractal system makes easy work of this, as we recently did when we brought in about a quarter of a billion records from the Federal Election Commission (FEC).  Nice to know who your contributors are.  Even nicer to see how PACs are moving money among themselves -- with a couple of clicks.

Neighborhood and zip code analysis, which we do for our commercial customers, tell us income, family status, likely energy consumption, if they drive an electric vehicle.  That data is the gold the RNC will never get, and if they could, their obsolete SQL system would take weeks to process it.

Property rolls tell us the square footage of every building, which we use to calculate numbers of voters per 500 square feet -- finding phantom nests in a single click.  We know the year the building was built and what it was before.  As new neighborhoods grow, they are in the Fractal database the day they appear on the property tax roll.

For every multi-family building, we know immediately the sub-addresses, like the maintenance facility and the clubhouse where people are registered, but since there are no bedrooms, they are ineligible.  None of this data is in the RNC database.

When the candidate’s team sits with the county registrar, they bring to bear far more technology than the state, showing voter rolls compared with property tax records -- instantly.

As 2024 approaches, some hip Senate candidates are looking to apply technology at scale.  They are going after voters with the same data science Pepsi and Coca Cola use to find new customers.

Political campaigns, like marketing campaigns, will be won or lost by who can best profile their voters, inspire them to action, and get them out to vote.  If you understand who every voter is, if they are real or not, what they like, how they have changed over time, you just may be able to attract them to your cause.

It is refreshing to have at least two Senate candidates who understand the future of big data, real time analysis in elections.  That alone is promising.

Jay Valentine led the team that built the eBay fraud detection system.  He can be contacted at

Image: RRZEicons

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