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News Link • Voting and Elections

To Get Out The Vote, Evangelicals Try Data Mining

• by Barbara Bradley Hagerty
 

When Bill Dallas first heard that 15 to 20 million Christians in the U.S. are not registered to vote, he couldn't believe it.

"Initially, it surprised me. And then I thought to myself, 'Wait a minute, I'm not registered,' Dallas says. "Why wasn't I registered? Well, because I didn't think my vote made a difference."

Identifying Christians With Data Points

Dallas, an evangelical Christian, has since become a voter. He now runs United In Purpose, a nonprofit startup company that uses data mining to identify unregistered Christians.

The company persuaded wealthy Silicon Valley conservatives to help fund the creation of a database of as many adults in the U.S. as they can find. So far, UIP has added 180 million.

The company buys lists to build a profile of each citizen, and then assigns points for certain characteristics. You get points if you're on an anti-abortion list or a traditional marriage list. You get a point if you regularly attend church or home-school your kids. You get points if you like NASCAR or fishing.

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