WITH EARLY VOTING already underway in more than two dozen states, the push is on to get voters motivated to cast their ballots.  There are a variety of different ways to do that, some of which have proven much more successful than others. 

Research by Harvard Kennedy School Associate Professor Todd Rogers demonstrates that nudging voters to formulate a voting plan a few days in advance of an election will indeed increase turnout.  In fact, it doubled the impact of the next best “typical” get out the vote tactic.  This was shown using a randomized experiment involving more than 280,000 voters.   

Rogers’ work contributes to the growing body of research examining how behavioral science can provide important insights into socially beneficial behavior.   

“Campaign professionals can use psychological science more widely to help citizens follow through on their intentions to vote,” he writes. In this case, Rogers argues, those campaigns that are facilitating the formulation of voting plans, and then following up with friendly nudges, are likely to add to their numbers on Election Day.

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Todd Rogers Photo

Todd Rogers

Weatherhead Professor of Public Policy

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