Creating lists for phone banking, door knocking, or events is one of the core functions of VAN. This article will explain the various search criteria in the Create A List tool, so you can make the most effective lists possible. 


To understand the logic steps in Create A List, check out our article Building a List - Types of Steps


Each criterion is listed below. Also indicated is which side of VAN (myVoters or myCampaign) you will find it on. 


If you do not see certain fields, it is likely because your access is restricted based on your VAN user profile. Contact your committee admin to request upgraded permissions. 



Home Districts (myV/myC)

Home Districts is the most useful search criteria in VAN, which is why it is at the top of this list (to set it to the top of your Create A List page, click the star next to the Home Districts tab). This should always be your first step when creating a list.


Home Districts allows you to narrow by county, congressional, and state legislative and special districts. Selecting a county will also allow you to select precincts or cities within that county. 


To select multiple home districts in one search, click on any area that is highlighted in blue. This will then take you to a page where you can check as many districts as needed for your search.


Again, this should always be the first step in your search. This means you'll avoid calling voters outside your specific race.



Absentee Voting (myV)

Absentee Voting allows you to select people who requested or returned an absentee ballot. You can select a date range or check the box for all people who fit your criteria. 


Note: As of this writing, this field is only available for the August 11th primary. We will let you know when this becomes available for the general election



Activist Codes (myV/myC)

Activist Codes are a series of tags that indicate specific things voters have done in current and past elections. Some examples include campaign donors, caucus attendees, and party officials.


To select multiple activist codes, click the blue Activist Codes button and you can check as many as needed.



Activity Based Region (myC)

Activity Based Regions are geographical boundaries that some campaigns set up to manage voter outreach. If your campaign uses Regions, you can find them here. 



Addresses (myV/myC)

Addresses allows you to fine-tune your list to specific cities and even streets. 


One useful tool in this field is "Walkable Houses" which, when checked, will exclude larger buildings so you can canvass more easily. "USPS Verified Only" is also useful to check when building a mailing list to minimize address errors. 



Age/Registration Date (myV/myC)

Age and Registration Date allows you to target a specific age group or target voters who registered in a given date range. 



API Saved Lists (myV/myC)

API Saved Lists works with tools integrated with VAN to build lists across multiple platforms. Please check in with the data team if you want to learn more about this tool.



Attached Files (myC)

In myCampaign, you have the ability to attach external files such as text files and spreadsheets. Attached Files allows you to build your list based on files attached to voter profiles. 



Applicant Status (myV)



Blast Emails (myV/myC)

As of this writing, the DFL is not supporting the Blast Email tool.



Canvass Status (myV/myC)

Canvass Status allows you to select people who you've spoken with before. You can select specific responses they gave and you can also select who canvassed them, when they were canvassed, or how many times you've contacted them.



Contribution Aggregates (myC)

The Contributions Aggregate field allows you to build your list based on the sum of all individual contributions or a maximum donation amount (See Contributions for more info about what contributions are listed in VAN). 



Contributions (myC)

VAN has the ability to track certain contributions to the DFL. (This is not available to general campaigns). The Contributions field allows you to build your list based on the amount, when it was given, and method of payment. 



Custom Contact Fields (myV/myC) 

DFL VAN does not currently support this search criteria. 



Direct Response Efforts (myC)

For more details on this search criteria please submit a ticket to our team! 



Effective Region (myC)

DFL VAN does not currently support this search criteria.


Email (myV/myC)

Email allows to you select specific domain names (ex: ends in @gmail.com) or when their email was added to the voter file.



Employer/Occupation (myC)

Employer/Occupation allows you to build your list based on voters' place of employment if that data is attached to their voter profile. 



Engagement Points (myC)

Search based on the points a contact has collected by interacting with your campaign.


Engagement Summaries (myC)

Search based on the points a contact has collected by interacting with your campaign.


Events (myC)



Followed People (myC)



Household Party Counts (myV)

Household Party Counts allows you to select people who live in a house with a certain number of members of a specific political party. 



Household Sex Counts (myV)

Household Sex Counts allows you to select people who live in a house with a certain number of people of a specific sex. It also includes "people" which counts everyone living at that address.



Likely Ethnic Subgroup (myV)

Likely Ethnic Subgroup allows you to find people of a certain ethnic group such as Chinese, Mexican, or West Indian. This is useful for specific constituency events. 


Note: "Likely" means that this has been modeled, not actually reported. You may find discrepancies between a voter's actual ethnicity and VAN. This is why each subgroup has a "high" and "low"- it indicated the confidence in VAN's modeling. 



Likely Ethnic Group (myV)

Likely Ethnic Group allows you to find people of a certain ethnic group. It is basically a cruder version of Likely Ethnic Subgroup


Note: "Likely" means that this has been modeled, not actually reported. You may find discrepancies between a voter's actual ethnicity and VAN.



Likely Party (myV)

Likely Party allows you to find people of a certain political party. This gives the options of Strong/Lean/Independent Leaning for both parties. 


Note: "Likely" means that this has been modeled, not actually reported. You may find discrepancies between a voter's party registration and VAN. This is based on Party Points (article forthcoming)



Likely Religion (myV)

Likely Religion allows you to find people of a certain religious group.


Note: "Likely" means that this has been modeled, not actually reported. You may find discrepancies between a voter's actual religion and VAN.



My Activist (myC)

DFL VAN does not currently support this search criteria. 


My Campaign Record (myV)

My Campaign record allows you to select whether or not you want to include people who have a myCampaign profile or not.



My Saved Lists (myV/myC)

My Saved Lists allows you to insert or filter by a list that you have already created. For example, if you have a saved list of people who you don't want to call, you can use a remove step and use that list. VAN will take out all matching records between the current list and the saved list. 



Name (myV/myC)

Name allows you to select people with a specific name.



Notes (myV/myC)

Notes allows you to select people who have a note in their profile. You can specify specific notes to search for, or you can select someone who has any note applied regardless of what it contains. 



Online Forms (myC)

This section allows you to search on contacts who have submitted through certain Online Forms and on certain dates. This allows you to search on less specific information than the category immediately below.


Online Forms Custom Questions (myC)

This section allows you to search based on specific responses a contact may have given to custom questions on one of your online forms.


Organizations (myC)

Organizations allows you to select members of certain party organizations. However, most of this information is stored under Activist Codes, which will likely give you a more accurate result.



Organizing Turfs (myV)

Organizing Turfs is another way to break up people by geographic locations, much like Home Districts. Individual campaigns can set up turfs. Check with your field director to see if this applies to your campaign. 



Party Points (myV)

Party Points allows you to select people who have certain party points from survey questions or other activities (article forthcoming). 


These fields work as a percentage (0-100). The higher the percentage, the closer they are affiliated with that party.



Phones (myV/myC)

Phones allows you to select various fields such as phone type (home, cell, work, etc), where the phone data came from (the voter file, added manually in VAN, or a vendor), and whether or not the phone is a cell (important for texting).



Precinct-Level NCEC Data (myV)

Precinct-Level NCEC Data is a category of scores (see scores below) relating to turnout, persuasion, and Democratic leanings. These range from 0 to 100, with 100 being more likely to turnout, be able to be persuaded, etc. 



Program Type (myV)

Further documentation will be provided on this search criteria.



Relationships (myV/myC)

Relationships allows you to use relational organizing to build your lists. In a voter's VAN profile, you can connect them to other profiles by "relationships" (ex: you can tag two voters as neighbors). In the Relationships field, you can leverage those connections to build your list based on an individual's connections to others.



RoboCalls (myV/myC)

VAN has the ability to setup RoboCall campaigns to voters. This field allows you to build lists based on past RoboCall campaigns. Please contact the data team for more info on RoboCalls in VAN.



Scores (myV)

Scores are modeling criteria from a variety of organizations, including the DNC, DCCC, Civis, Clarity, and TargetSmart. These can model general Democratic support, specific Candidate support, positions on specific issues, and a variety of other topics. 


Many scores are based on a scale from 1 to 100 (100 indicating more support, higher turnout, etc), but some use pother scales. You can see the scale in the Scores field. 


To use scores, simply enter the lower and upper bounds of your search in a specific score. Always be sure to preview your list for size and adjust the scores as needed to fit your list requirements. 



Self-Reported Demographics (myV/myC)

Self-Reported Demographics allows you to build a list by ethnicity and preferred language, as reported by the voter themselves.



Sex (myV/myC)

Sex allows you to select by the voter's sex as listed in the SOS Voterfile.



Social Media (myC)

VAN allows you to attach links to voters' social media profiles. The Social Media field here allows you to search for anyone with certain social media types, if you have those linked in their voter profile. 



Stories (myC)

VAN has the ability to store "stories" in a voter's profile for use in testimonials, ads, etc. If you have stories attached to voters, you can use the Stories field to search for specific titles and keywords used in those stories. 



Supporter Groups (myC)

Supporter groups can be created in MyC. Once you've created a group, you are able to search on the criteria as well. 


Suppressions (myV/myC)

The Suppressions field allows you to include or exclude common types of issues in your list, including those who are deceased or bad addresses. 


The MN DFL VAN automatically includes some Suppressions in the initial list step. Those are listed below. You can change these if you would like, but be careful to ensure your list is clean. 




Survey Questions (myV/myC)

Survey Questions is where you can select your survey responses from phones and canvasses. 


To select multiple survey questions, click the blue Question button and you can check as many as needed.



Tags (myV/myC)

Tags are similar to Activist Codes, used to mark certain kinds of voters. If you have tags in your committee, you can search for them in the Tags field.



Targets (myV/myC)

Targets are lists created by the DFL based on a variety of factors including scores, volunteer history, etc. Similar to Saved Searches, checking a target box limits your list to individuals inside that target. 


Some campaigns always build lists in target. If you're not sure if you should be using Targets, talk to your supervisor/field director.



Vital Stats & Contact Preferences (myC)

Vital Stats & Contact Preferences allows you to build a list based on a voter's stated preferred contact method, when their profile was first created, and where it came from (myVoters, user-added, etc.)


Volunteers (myC)

Volunteers allows you to build a list based on volunteer activity types. Each event in VAN has a type, so here is where you can find all of the people who have previously signed up or attended certain event types. 



Voter File Record (myC)

Voter File Record allows you to include or exclude people based on whether or not they have a profile in myVoters.



Voter Status and Voter Registration (myV)

Voter Status and Registration is a deep dive into a voter's registration details, including whether they are active or inactive, when they were added, and why they updated their registration with the SOS. 



Voting History (myV/myC)

Voting History allows you to build your list based on whether or not people voted in previous elections, and whether they voted absentee or at the polls. 


While who they voted for in those elections is private, whether and how they voted is searchable information in this field. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                    


Questions or feedback? Please email us at voterfile@dfl.org


If you have suggestions for other articles that you’d like to see in the knowledge base, submit your request here.