The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia seeks to hire an experienced opinion research firm with diverse credentials to conduct a statewide poll and related focus groups to provide a better understanding of attitudes and opinions among likely voters with regards to voting rights. Results of this research will inform an upcoming campaign we plan to launch to amend the Constitution of Virginia to include a guaranteed right to vote for every citizen over 18.
Statement of Purpose
The purpose of the poll and focus groups will be to gather opinion research findings that will inform messaging for a multi-year, comprehensive campaign to amend the Constitution of Virginia to include a guaranteed right for every citizen over 18. Amending the Constitution in Virginia requires the following:
- Approval of amendment language by a simple majority vote of both houses in one session in the state legislature;
- Re-approval by a majority vote of both houses of the legislature in the session following the next House of Delegates election, which occurs in every odd-numbered year; and
- Majority approval by voters on a special or general election ballot.
- Assess favorability among likely voters toward the idea of guaranteeing the right to vote in the state constitution, and test support and opposition messaging;
- Identify key demographic groups who may be more supportive of a constitutional amendment, those who may oppose it, and the reasons behind their opinions; and
- Determine what shorter-term goals and messages related to the above, if any, may be most effective at increasing support for a constitutional right to vote. These could include but are not limited to:
- Increasing awareness and accessibility of voting while being detained pre-trial and/or held on misdemeanor charges only;
- Expanding the current process of individual restoration of rights by the governor;
- Ending prison gerrymandering, which is the practice of drawing legislative districts based on population counts of people where they are incarcerated rather than where they lived before;
- Same-day voter registration; and
- No-excuse absentee voting.
Scope of Work
Detailed Requirements and Timing:
- Poll sample size must be large enough to yield credible results across every geographic region of Virginia.
- Survey should be designed to maximize participation and breadth of issue.
- At least two but no more than four focus groups should be conducted with participants who are representative of the polling sample, with the purpose of obtaining qualitative themes to complement and aid in interpreting survey data.
- All activities must be completed and a detailed analysis must be provided prior to the end of calendar year 2019.
- ACLU of Virginia better understands support for and opposition to a guaranteed right to vote;
- ACLU of Virginia understands messaging that should be used in a comprehensive communications campaign intended to influence voters and the legislature to support a constitutional amendment, as well as the potential effectiveness of opposition messaging; and
- ACLU of Virginia understands voter attitudes and opinions on other voting-related issues which may be pursued as shorter-term goals that could help lead the way to passage of a constitutional amendment.
- Results will be used to inform communications strategies to persuade the public and the legislature to approve a constitutional amendment to guarantee the right to vote.
- Advocacy and public education
- Depending on outcome, poll results may be publicized in full or in part to draw attention to support that may exist for a constitutional amendment.
Proposal Contents and Submittal Requirements
Below is a list of information that we expect to receive in your proposal.
- Understanding of the purpose of the polling and aligning how working together will achieve that purpose.
- Providing an overview of your firm’s expertise, background, and credentials.
- Detailed description of sample size, margin of error, length of survey, method of survey, and why you believe your methodology will generate credible results.
- Key dates for all deliverables and a general outline of time expected to draft, conduct survey, deliver initial toplines, and present a full report.
- List of what your firm will provide in creation and receipt of conducting survey as well as a brief description of the purpose each item serves.
- Range of costs that cover the following lengths and sample sizes
- 600, 800, or 1000 voters
- Length of survey (minutes)
- 15 minutes
- 20 minutes
- Proposed number, size and curation of focus groups, location, and identification of facilitator.
Proposals should be submitted via email by Oct. 4, 2019 and sent to the following:
Bill Farrar, director of strategic communications
For more information regarding this RFP, please see the attached document below.