Using Alloy data in Reach
Alloy is a nonprofit technology company building broadly accessible, radically affordable, high-quality data and technology for the progressive community. Reach is working with Alloy to offer easy access to voter file data from most of the country at no additional cost. Alloy data is not your only option for Reach data and we’re happy to also offer a “Bring your own data” approach (more here) for those who have unique data needs, but for many campaigns and organizations, acquiring voter data to load into Reach can be a challenging, time-consuming, and expensive process and by working with Alloy we hope to provide those folks with an easier option.
What is included in Alloy data?
Alloy has acquired and made available in Reach all of the public voter file data from 44 states plus the District of Columbia. The states that are not currently available in Alloy data are California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, and Virginia. The set of fields that you get via Alloy data is below but availability of data can vary by jurisdiction based on the jurisdiction’s requirements.
- State File ID
- Alloy ID
- First Name
- Middle Name
- Last Name
- Gender (display optional)
- Date of Birth (month and year only)
- Registered Address
- Registration Date
- Registration Status
- Status Reason
- Status Changed Date
- Congressional District
- State Senate District
- State House District
- Municipal District
- Judicial District
- Precinct Name
This data will be updated periodically to keep it fresh. Contact information for voters is not currently included in Alloy data but may be incorporated at a later date.
Why might I choose to go with Alloy data?
- It’s included in your Reach subscription at no additional cost. Many other data vendors will charge you for exports. In some cases, the cost of exporting data from other systems may be many times what you’re paying for your whole Reach subscription!
- It eliminates the hassle of exporting data from other systems (which often requires approval),
- Avoid handling and transferring large files.
- More secure than having exported CSVs floating around.
- It is updated for you periodically, at no additional cost, without you having to do anything.
Why might I choose not to go with Alloy data?
- You may have specific data needs like external IDs from other systems, custom fields, contact information, or other things you need in Reach.
- You may not be working with the voter file at all and you want to load unregistered voters, union members, or the Spice Girls Fan Club list.
- You may be working in states that are not currently available from Alloy.
- You may prefer not to agree with the data sharing terms.
Will Alloy data still let me use the VAN Integration?
Yes! You can use State File IDs to sync responses from Reach to VAN using our VAN Integration, even if you’re using Alloy data. Since this is not the exact same data set, there may certainly be cases where a voter in Alloy does not exist in VAN or vice-versa, but generally things should work ok.
What about Data Sharing? What data is sent back to Alloy?
When you choose to use Alloy data for free in Reach, you are also agreeing to a data sharing program outlined in Addendum A of the Reach Licensing Agreement. The goal of this data sharing is to help Alloy validate and verify data they already have. The thinking is that if they can tell when a phone number for someone is bad, or when someone has moved, and update it in their data, that improved data will be a benefit for all of the organizations in the progressive movement who are using their data. If you spend less time and money calling and texting wrong numbers, or knocking on the wrong doors, you are saving more of your resources to win and change the world.
For the specifics and legal details, please refer to your agreement, but the basics of the agreement are:
- Shared Data shall consist of cryptographically-obscured (“hashed”) phone numbers and email addresses that have been collected and entered by your users. The hashing process ensures that Alloy will not be able to directly read the phone number and email address, but rather will be able to see only whether they match existing phone numbers or email addresses already in Alloy Data. In other words, you will be helping Alloy verify the accuracy of contact information they have on file without sharing any new user-collected contact information directly with Alloy.
- Shared Data shall never include personally identifiable information of specific users, such as names, phone numbers, or email addresses.
- Alloy will use Shared Data to validate and make more accurate the data sets that they maintain and makes available to other organizations in the progressive ecosystem.
- At no time will Alloy link Shared Data directly to a specific campaign or organization in any way.