Study authors studied the impact of canvassing campaigns during the 2000 election. A phone-to-phone canvassing program in which canvassing staff spoke with or left messages for potential voters increased voter turnout in study areas in Oregon, Colorado, and New York, but results were only significant in New York.
DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM
Target population: Registered voters ages 18-30
Increasing political participation was the goal of a canvassing program implemented during the 2000 presidential election. Phone-to-phone and face-to-face contact with potential voters was employed days before presidential Election Day. Voter mobilization campaigns were staffed with volunteers and paid staff from public interest groups and student organizations.
EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM
Green, D.P., & Gerber, A.S. (2001). Getting out the youth vote: Results from randomized field experiments. New Haven, CT: Yale University.
Evaluated population: Participants included registered voters between the ages of 18 and 30 near college campuses in New York, Colorado, and Oregon. Across six samples (both student and vendor) in the three locations, a total of 5,484 participants were randomly assigned to be contacted in the treatment group and a total of 3,940 participants were not contacted in the control group. Of those assigned to the treatment group, 27 percent were successfully contacted on average.
Approach: The experimental evaluation was based on random voter mobilization experiments geared to those under 30 years old living near college campuses in New York, Colorado, and Oregon. The participants consisted of voters registered by student organizations and lists of names purchased commercial vendors.
Results: Participants assigned to the treatment groups in both Albany and Stony Brook, New York voted significantly more than those assigned to the control group. There were no significant results for phone canvassing in Colorado or Oregon.
SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION
Green, D.P., & Gerber, A.S. (2001). Getting out the youth vote: Results from randomized field experiments. New Haven, CT: YaleUniversity.
KEYWORDS: Civic Engagement, Young Adulthood (18-24), Citizenship, Community/Media Campaign, Political Involvement, Youth
Program information last updated 9/7/12.