Getting Out the Vote in Local Elections: Results from Six Door-to-Door Canvassing Experiments

Posted: 22 Dec 2008

See all articles by Donald P. Green

Donald P. Green

Columbia University

Alan Gerber

Yale University - Department of Political Science; Yale University - Cowles Foundation

David Nickerson

University of Notre Dame

Date Written: December 22, 2008

Abstract

Prior to the November 6, 2001 elections, randomized voter mobilization experiments were conducted in Bridgeport, Columbus, Detroit, Minneapolis, Raleigh, and St. Paul. Names appearing on official lists of registered voters were randomly assigned to treatment and control groups. A few days before Election Day, the treatment group received a face-to-face contact from a coalition of nonpartisan student and community organizations, encouraging them to vote. After the election, voter turnout records were used to compare turnout rates among people assigned to treatment and control groups. Consistent with the recent experimental results reported by Gerber and Green (2000b), the findings here indicate that face-to-face voter mobilization was effective in stimulating voter turnout across a wide spectrum of local elections.

Keywords: GOTV, field experiment, randomization, voter turnout, voter mobilization, local elections

JEL Classification: C93

Suggested Citation

Green, Donald P. and Gerber, Alan and Nickerson, David, Getting Out the Vote in Local Elections: Results from Six Door-to-Door Canvassing Experiments (December 22, 2008). The Journal of Politics, Vol. 65, No. 4, pp. 1083-1096, 2003, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1319335

Donald P. Green (Contact Author)

Columbia University ( email )

7th Floor, International Affairs Bldg.
420 W. 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

Alan Gerber

Yale University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 208269
New Haven, DC 06520-8269
United States
203-432-5232 (Phone)

Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Box 208281
New Haven, CT 06520-8281
United States

David Nickerson

University of Notre Dame ( email )

361 Mendoza College of Business
Notre Dame, IN 46556-5646
United States

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