In the Gemma Papers: A little peek into how campaigns ID voters

Congressional candidate Anthony Gemma's staff distributed packets to members of the media at today's news conference including a transcript of Gemma's speech, records which purport to show several voters registered at business addresses, copies of what the campaign says are sworn statements by Cicilline volunteers who say they witnessed fraud, and correspondence from Gemma to a handful of government agencies.

I haven't done any verification of the records purporting to show several voters registered at business addresses. And there is nothing in the documents to tie those voters to the Cicilline camp. But one interesting tidbit: the Gemma campaign provided reporters not with voter registration records, but with information from a voter database operated by the Somerville, Massachusetts-based NGP VAN, which helps Democratic candidates and progressive groups identify voters they might target.

The printouts give a small peek into the sort of information NGP VAN gathers on voters: party, sex, race, phone number, date of birth. There is information on which media market voters live in and which voting districts - federal and local - they call home.

Each voter also gets a "clarity turnout score" - presumably a measure of how often he votes - and a party score, presumably a measure of how loyal he is to the Democratic Party. There is detail on voting history and room for "activist codes" that can be affixed to voters.

All this, needless to say, is more than campaigns can get from the Secretary of State's office.

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