The Texas Nationalist Movement (TNM) has set its sights on a significant goal: placing the TEXIT question on both the Republican and Democratic Party primary ballots in March 2024. While the mission is clear, the financial and logistical challenges of such a campaign often go unnoticed. This article delves into the potential costs of the TEXIT petition campaign, comparing them with national averages and exploring the underlying reasons.
Cost Per Required Signature Explained
Ballotpedia’s analysis reveals that the cost per required signature (CPRS) is a measure that contrasts the money spent on a petition drive with the number of signatures a state requires for ballot qualification. In 2022, the average CPRS reached $12.70, a considerable increase from $8.09 in 2020.
Estimating the TEXIT Campaign’s Raw Cost
Given the 2022 average CPRS, the TEXIT campaign’s financial requirements are daunting. The Republican Party primary ballot, targeting 100,000 signatures, could amount to roughly $1,270,000. Simultaneously, the Democratic Party primary ballot, aiming for 60,000 signatures, might necessitate about $762,000. Combined, this results in a potential expenditure surpassing $2 million.
Debunking the One-Email Solution Myth
A prevalent misconception suggests that acquiring signatures is as simple as sending a single email to the TNM’s 488,000 supporters. However, the reality is far more complex. All petition campaigns, regardless of their nature, utilize a blend of existing supporter lists and voter rolls. The persistently high average of over $12 per signature underscores that a solitary email is insufficient. Even with a vast database of existing supporters, reaching out to many of them often demands multiple contacts. In fact, many individuals necessitate as many as 7-10 touchpoints before they commit to action.
A significant challenge faced by the TNM is the consistent relegation of our emails to SPAM folders by email service providers. This obstacle not only hampers our reach but also escalates our costs. The introduction of the online petition provided a ray of hope, allowing the use of text messages to prompt supporters to sign. Yet, this method isn’t immune to challenges either, as mobile phone carriers and text messaging platform providers also present SPAM-related hurdles.
Factors Elevating Signature Costs
Several elements contribute to the elevated CPRS:
- Time Constraints: Stringent deadlines can intensify the pressure on campaigns. In Texas, we have 180 days to collect the signatures for the TEXIT petition from the start of collection to the end.
- Validation: Ensuring authenticity often means collecting more signatures than mandated. Every signature must be validated against the state’s voter rolls to ensure that the signature comes from a valid registered Texas voter.
- Professional Assistance: If we choose to engage a company for signature collection, they charge per signature with no guarantee of success. There are also significant legal fees associated with maintaining compliance with the draconian laws related to petition gathering and campaign finance.
- Regulatory Hurdles: Texas has rigorous regulations related to legally-binding petitions, inflating costs.
- Media Blackout: The mainstream media’s indifference forces the TNM to use pricier communication avenues.
- “Someone Else Will Do it”: With the large base of support that the TNM has, some supporters can assume that their signature isn’t needed because someone else will do it. This creates additional costs for contacting them or, in extreme cases, having to reach outside of the supporter base to get new supporters that will sign in their place.
Empowering TEXIT Supporters to Curb Costs
Supporters can play a pivotal role in cost reduction:
- Sign The Petition Yourself: If you haven’t signed, do it now.
- Share the Petition: Circulate the petition link within personal networks, urging peers to sign.
- Certification: Become a Certified Petition Circulator and join our small army of volunteers who are gathering signatures on paper forms.
- Financial Support: Donations can help offset the campaign’s financial strain.
- Advocacy: Amplifying awareness can simplify the signature collection process.
Embarking on the journey to position the TEXIT question on the primary ballots is riddled with financial and logistical obstacles. Yet, with the concerted efforts of devoted supporters, this goal is attainable. The quest for self-determination and independence is a noble one, and every stride in its direction brings Texas closer to its aspiration of becoming a self-governing independent nation.