I’m listening to a DFA NIght School Session right now and they’re talking to a Yale Law professor about Voter Turnout.

Here’s some info:
Voter turnout - what works
Follow-up calls to those that have expressed interest work beautifully.
Here’s a refrain we’re hearing a lot this year – the more personal, the more local, the better.

Voter Turnout - Frontiers of research
Social Networks, in other words, are key.
“Many local, low-budget campaigns operate as if they were headquartered in a far-away city and parachuted into this local race. Use your friends, your community members, your social networks” they are great social networks!

So the 50 cent version of this two-hour session: “Stay local! Use personal connections! Distant methods like robocalls and lit drops are bleh.”

Voter turnout - what doesn't work
People don’t “forget” to vote. There exist enough reminders and so on so that they won’t forget. What they do is choose not to vote.

Voter turnout - lit drop
Glossy, slick, thick cardstock mailers work the worst.

voter turnout - other

voter turnout - canvassing

Interesting fact – the effectiveness of lawn signs has never been empirically tested.
For more – http://research.yale.edu/gotv/

Professor Green, by the way, is the guy whose famous for his GOTV experiments: he sent every voter in a district a card saying when they voted in the past, and the promise of a card in the future telling them if they voted, as well as the voting habits of 10 neighbors. After that card, turnout shot way up.

Behold! The power of peer pressure.

One comment on “Voter Turnout – What works and what doesn’t”

  1. Vadim Says:

    Part of the reason voter turnout is so low is that it is held on a Tuesday during regular work hours. If Election Day was a national holiday I guarantee you many more people would go out of their way to vote: http://www.thepoint.com/campaigns/make-election-day-a-national-holiday