I Will Register, if You Teach Me How: Results from Voter Registration Field Experiments on College Campuses

Working Paper No.: 
Date Published: 
David W. Nickerson
University Notre Dame
Elizabeth A. Bennion


In the United States, the burden of registering to vote falls upon prospective voters. Voters must learn how, when, and where to register, and they must take the time to complete a registration form each time they relocate. College campuses provide excellent testing grounds to measure the students to different registration appeals, this study demonstrates the effectiveness of face-to-face, classroom-based appeals, and the corresponding ineffectiveness of less personal mail- and email-based approaches to registration. Unlike mail and email campaigns, classroom presentations provide young citizens with the combination of information, motivation, and designated time required to successfully complete the registration process.

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