As of Monday, ordering a free “Josh for Governor” yard sign will be as easy as responding to a text message for Pennsylvania voters.
The Josh Shapiro campaigns new voter program combines voter base data and delivery services akin to a gig economy to “create a universe ready” to accept good old-fashioned yard signs. Using the campaign’s SMS program, volunteers can directly ask voters if they would like to receive a sign to support the Democratic governor candidate.
Once a voter agrees, their information is sent to the campaign, where the data is sorted into delivery routes. Volunteers then sign up for delivery services and receive a route through a “deliverer app.”
The campaign uses Route planner for circuits, a mobile delivery app that promises to “make delivery easy for everyone” by coordinating contract delivery routes. For the Shapiro campaign, this means coordinating an ad hoc network that connects supporters with both yard signs and campaign volunteers.
“This is the launch of an innovative program that uses digital tools to get yard signs directly onto Pennsylvania doors,” a Shapiro spokesperson said via email Friday. “Normally, of course, these tools are only used for fundraising or mobilization.”
While the delivery program is new, voters can still pick up yard signs for free in person from field offices or order them online for mail delivery.
“Interestingly, we’ve seen extremely positive response to this text so far – and we expect this to continue as the race heats up and more people take an interest in plates,” the spokesperson said.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro takes on Donald Trump-backed Republican Sen. Doug Mastriano for the governor of Pennsylvania. A recent Fox News opinion poll found that Democrats such as Shapiro and US Senate candidate John Fetterman announced a promising lead months ahead of the midterm elections in November. Voters support Shapiro over Mastriano by a margin of 50-40, the poll said.
Mastriano is one of the few far-right Republican nominees to be present at the January 6 attack on the Capitol. He has also repeatedly promoted QAnon conspiracy theories and was recently endorsed by Andrew Torba, the CEO of social media site Gab. In July, HuffPost reported that Mastriano’s campaign paid Gab a $5,000 “consulting” fee that preceded a boost in Mastriano’s following on the platform.
After Trump lost Pennsylvania to President Joe Biden in 2020, the Keystone state midterm elections have become some of the most pivotal in the country and could shape important policy decisions like abortion and voting rights in the future.