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

Working Paper No.: 
7
Date Published: 
01/01/2009
Author(s): 
David W. Nickerson
University Notre Dame
Elizabeth A. Bennion

ABSTRACT:

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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