The Effect of a Nonpartisan Get-Out-the-Vote Drive in the United States

Last registered on July 20, 2016

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
The Effect of a Nonpartisan Get-Out-the-Vote Drive in the United States
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0001429
Initial registration date
July 20, 2016
Last updated
July 20, 2016, 12:28 PM EDT

Locations

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Columbia University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Yale University

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
1998-10-31
End date
1998-11-03
Secondary IDs
Abstract
A field experiment assessed the effects of a nonpartisan voter mobilization drive. On the weekend
before the 1998 general election, voters in the treatment group received an 8" x 11" card on which
was printed a nonpartisan encouragement to vote. This treatment had no effect on the turnout rates
of registered Republicans and Democrats, but it increased the turnout of those voters unaffiliated
with a major party. We find that the treatment was particularly effective at increasing voting among those unaffiliated voters who voted in 1996.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
, and Donald Green. 2016. "The Effect of a Nonpartisan Get-Out-the-Vote Drive in the United States." AEA RCT Registry. July 20. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.1429-1.0
Former Citation
, , Donald Green and Donald Green. 2016. "The Effect of a Nonpartisan Get-Out-the-Vote Drive in the United States." AEA RCT Registry. July 20. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1429/history/9487
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
8.5" x 11" postcards that were otherwise used as mailings were hand-delivered and left as leaflets at targeted addresses.
Intervention Start Date
1998-10-31
Intervention End Date
1998-11-03

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Effect of Experiment on Turnout Level

Effect of Experiment on Turnout Level, OLS Excluding New Voters

Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
This experiment was designed to measure the effect of a minimal stimulus on voter turnout. For households in the treatment group, a single 8" X 11" printed card with a "Get-Out-the-Vote" message was placed either between the screen door and the front door or in the mailbox. The cards were distributed on the Saturday and Sunday before the November 3, 1998 election. The message appealed to citizens' sense of civic duty and reminded them that Tuesday was election day and that they should remember to vote.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
The study was conducted in Hamden, Connecticut, a mostly middle-class suburb of New Haven. 50 streets were initially selected in a moderately affluent portion of Hamden; then a subset of 25 streets were randomly chosen to receive the experimental treatment. The 50 streets included in the study were very similar; all were streets of single-family homes on approximately quarter-acre lots.
Randomization Unit
registered voters
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
(no clusters)
Sample size: planned number of observations
2,021 registered voters in 50 street clusters
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Experimental Group: 984 registered voters (25 streets)

Control Group: 1,037 registered voters (25 streets)

Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
October 31, 1998, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
November 03, 1998, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
(no clusters)
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
No
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
2,021 registered voters
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
Experimental Group: 984 registered voters Control Group: 1,037 registered voters
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
No
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials