Obama's 'Project Vote' Hones Focus on Minorities, Counters GOP Effort on Voter Laws

ABC News' Devin Dwyer ( @devindwyer) reports:

President Obama’s reelection campaign today launched a targeted voter outreach plan aimed at boosting registration and turnout among seven key minority constituencies for the 2012 election.

The initiative, called “Project Vote,” will focus on engaging African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, women, young adults, gays and lesbians and veterans, Obama for America said in a press release.

The demographic groups played a significant role in Obama’s 2008 victory and are expected to play an even more crucial role next fall. “Project Vote will communicate with and engage targeted constituencies by reaching them where they are, in their communities and neighborhoods, and having one-on-one grassroots conversations about the issues they care about most -- jobs, health care and education,” the release said.

A campaign official told ABC News the strategy, part of a broader effort to expand the electorate and maximize participation, will develop customized messaging techniques for each constituency, utilizing social media, targeted ad buys, and door-to-door canvassing, among other tools.

Project Vote also appears positioned to counter Republican-sponsored efforts in dozens of states to impose tougher voter registration laws, some which Democrats have criticized as obstructionist and undemocratic.

“The campaign is very aware of the voter registration laws in many states,” an Obama campaign official said, adding that Project Vote would have a “direct relationship” to those laws, educating voters on how to meet the requirements. “Our staff in those states would be very well tuned in to those things,” the official said.

The initiative will be led from the Obama campaign’s Chicago headquarters by Buffy Wicks and Michael Blake, both formerly of the White House Office of Public Engagement, where they coordinated the administration's outreach to minority communities.

The campaign will have dedicated staff assigned to spearheading mobilization within each constituency as part of Project Vote, an official said.

“I don’t think any other campaign comes close to what we have set up at this point,” said an Obama campaign official, referring to the Republican presidential field.

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