Voting in the 2022 Swedish election: Evidence from a field experiment

Last registered on September 19, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Voting in the 2022 Swedish election: Evidence from a field experiment
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0010040
Initial registration date
September 11, 2022

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
September 19, 2022, 3:07 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Uppsala University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Uppsala University
PI Affiliation
Uppsala University
PI Affiliation
Stockholm University

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2022-08-30
End date
2024-12-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
This project aims to study the effect of sending a postcard to eligible voters reminding them that it is possible to vote. The postcard has information on six foreign languages (other than Swedish) and a link to a website run by Uppsala municipality containing more information on how to vote. The postcard is sent out after early voting has opened, one to two weeks before the election day (election day is 11th of September) and is randomly sent to eligible voters in around one third of the election precincts in Uppsala municipality.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Andersson, Henrik et al. 2022. "Voting in the 2022 Swedish election: Evidence from a field experiment ." AEA RCT Registry. September 19. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.10040-1.0
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The intervention consisted of a postcard sent out around one week before election day with information that it is possible to vote (at the time the postcard was sent, early voting had opened). The postcard had the information in Swedish and in six other languages: English, Arabic, Dari, Persian/Farsi, Tigrinya and Somali. The postcard was sent from Uppsala municipality and contained a QR code and a web address linking to more information on voting.
Intervention Start Date
2022-08-30
Intervention End Date
2022-09-11

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
- overall turnout in local elections among foreign-born eligible voters
- early voting in local elections among foreign-born eligible voters
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary outcomes include overall turnout and early voting in local elections among native-born eligible voters and overall turnout and early voting among all eligible voters in local elections. In addition, overall turnout and early voting in the general election will be analyzed for foreign-born, native-born and all eligible voters
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Turnout in the general election among foreign-born is only a secondary outcome because to be eligible to vote in the general election only individuals who are Swedish citizens and are or have been listed in the Swedish Population Register are eligible to vote.

In contrast, to vote in the local elections, the following three groups are eligible:
- Swedish citizens, listed in the Swedish Population Register
- Citizens of an EU country, Iceland or Norway, and listed in the Swedish Population Register
- Citizens of any other country, having been listed in the Swedish Population Register for three consecutive years before election day

Because our goal is to study individuals who do not have Swedish as mother tongue, the local elections are more interesting.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Uppsala municipality has 152 electoral precincts. 50 of these were randomized into treatment and 102 were randomized into control. The included individuals were all individuals age 18 or older on the election day who
1) were registered as living in Uppsala municipality on the 15th of August 2022
2) did not have a protected address on the 15th of August 2022

All individuals in the treated electoral precincts were sent a postcard (see attachment) with information that it is possible to vote. None in the control electoral precincts were sent the postcard.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization performed in the Julia programming language. Replication code for the randomization is attached.
Randomization Unit
Randomization unit is electoral precinct
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
152 electoral precincts
Sample size: planned number of observations
The postcard was sent to 60,060 individuals in the treatment group. The number of individuals in the control group is not known exactly at this point, but is likely a little more than 120,000 individuals.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
50 clusters (election precincts) are randomly assigned to treatment (postcard to eligible voters) and 102 clusters (election precincts) are randomly assigned to control (no intervention)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Etikprövningsmyndigheten
IRB Approval Date
2022-08-17
IRB Approval Number
dnr 2022-03328-01