How Often Do Your Messages Get Through to Your Elected Officials?
Published December 1, 2017 / Updated August 5, 2020

How Often Do Your Messages Get Through to Your Elected Officials?

We’re grading your elected officials on “contact-ability”

by Sohan Murthy

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Since the launch of v3 in November, Resistbot automatically chooses the best method of delivery for your message — e-delivery, fax, or postal mail (and if you want, the bot will connect you to your officials by phone). We analyzed the logs of every email, fax, and phone call sent in the past two weeks (anonymized to protect user privacy) and looked at how often these messages were successfully delivered for each member of congress and each method of communication.

We summarized our findings into handy dandy scorecards that you can share with your fellow constituents. Below are a few examples. Follow us on Twitter to see more scorecards as we release them!

The final grade is calculated as such:

  • Phone call success rate counts for 5% of the final grade
  • Fax success rate counts for 25%
  • Email success rate counts for 70%

If we’ve determined that an elected official doesn’t accept faxes, then emails count for 95% of the score, with calls counting for the remainder. Postal mail isn’t figured into the calculation because it is the ultimate fallback. We’re constantly tweaking our email systems, pruning bad fax numbers and adding new ones to ensure your message gets delivered electronically first. But, for a few members of Congress whose email and fax machines just plain don’t work ( 👋🏾 Ted Cruz!) your message will be printed out and mailed — or even hand delivered during key votes where time is critical.

However, there’s one big thing missing from these scorecards: how often does your member of congress respond back to you? And, if they do respond, is it a canned message or something genuine? We don’t have an answer for that just yet, but in the near future we hope to be able to collect this information at scale and report it back to you.

In the meantime, make your voice heard! Text RESIST to 50409 or to Resistbot on Messenger to contact your elected officials. And if you’ve gotten a response back, let us know!

Scorecard design by Carrie Phillips

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