How Identity Resolution Helps to Increase Voter Participation

Identity Resolution, Name Matching, Record Management

High voter participation is a sign of a healthy democracy. Much like marketing teams seek to reach and engage their target market, political campaigns strive to reach voters with various goals: fundraising, recruitment of volunteers, persuasion of the undecided, and getting out the vote through efforts such as canvassing, phone banks, direct mail, TV commercials, etc.

The success of all those efforts is largely dependent on how accurately political campaigns understand the electorate and the issues that the various audiences within the electorate care about. The more accurately campaigns can identify their target audiences, the more effective they can be at tailoring their message, utilizing their limited resources such as their advertising dollars or volunteers’ time, and achieving the ultimate goal of reaching out to and resonating with their audiences. It’s no surprise then that in political campaigning as in everyday marketing, data is king.

Political campaigns rely on large databases with data aggregated from disparate sources such as political party affiliation, public records of voting history – not “who” a person voted for but “if” they voted at all –, previous donations to a political party or candidate, etc. With hundreds of millions of voters and numerous sources of related political activity available, aggregating all that information is a daunting task. Records needs to be consolidated, deduped, and updated on an ongoing basis as people move, change their political affiliation or preferences, or die.

Identity Resolution for a Better Understanding of the Electorate

Identity Resolution is about figuring out what records represent the same entity, in this case the same voter. Identity Resolution helps merge records accurately while minimizing duplicates and incorrectly merged records. Here are some important features of an effective and accurate Identity Resolution tool:

  1. High accuracy. Merging records requires performing intelligent matching of various fields, including not just names but also other key attributes such as address. Attribute values often differ due to data entry errors, nicknames, partial names, variations in word order, etc. An effective Identity Resolution tool determines the confidence of the match based on the combination of evidence from multiple attributes and can handle different sources having different subsets of attributes.
  2. Scalable and real-time. Merging electorate records is a Big Data problem. Identity Resolution must support scalable, real-time curation of massive databases with hundreds of millions of records.
  3. Tunable. Application-specific business rules determine what combination of record attributes should be matched and how important each attribute is to the overall matching score.
  4. Multi-cultural matching. Names in an electorate are often linguistically diverse. An Identity Resolution product must be able to handle the peculiarities of linguistic diversity.

NetOwl’s AI-based Identity Resolution software provides a high-accuracy, scalable, fast, and tunable solution to curate electorate databases and facilitate the ultimate goal of political campaigns to better understand the electorate and increase voter participation. NetOwl’s Identity Resolution leverages its award-winning machine learning-based, multi-cultural, multi-lingual name matching product to enable sophisticated name matching of various entity types across different linguistic ethnicities. Last but not least, NetOwl can match large quantities of records in real time.