Amid the most expensive election in U.S. history, DeleteMe has relaunched its “What’s My Vote Worth” calculator to help voters determine how much money politicians have spent trying to influence their votes and highlight how campaigns access and leverage their personal voter data.
Voters can input their age, ethnicity, state, party affiliation, and voter history into the calculator to determine the financial value of their vote and the approximate sum that advertisers spent targeting them this year.
The calculator was first launched in the lead up to the 2020 presidential election, in which U.S. political campaigns spent over $7 billion on political advertising. Two years later, spending has now surpassed $9 billion for the 2022 midterm elections.
A large share of midterms spending has been focused on key Senate races in 10 states, and key congressional races in a dozen others, making a vote’s ‘worth’ highly determined by a combination of residence, voter history, and whether someone is a member of a key demographic swing group.
All that information—and more—is available to campaigns. Political campaigns can access voter data through state-provided public voting records that contain voters’ personal information and through third-party data brokers that sell personal data for profit. Campaigns can then use that personal voting data to target individual voters.
“What makes this cycle unique is the record volume of money spent on fewer votes in key districts and states. Some voters have been deemed extremely valuable, and others not so much. It’s absurd, and it’s largely powered by an abundance of our private information available online,” said DeleteMe CEO Rob Shavell.
“Ever since the overturn of Citizens United, which had previously limited the amount of money in politics, spending on political advertising has skyrocketed. Voters know they’re being targeted, but they often don’t know the extent,” he continued.
The calculator aims to draw attention to how voters’ personal data is being leveraged by political campaigns, the lack of regulations to protect voter data, and the issue of vast sums of money being expended on political advertising.
DeleteMe is the leading online privacy personal information removal service. In business since 2010, DeleteMe’s privacy advisors have successfully completed over 35 million opt-outs from data brokers, ensuring consumers and businesses’ online privacy.