NEW UPDATE: Completed trials may now upload and register supplementary documents (e.g. null results reports, populated pre-analysis plans, or post-trial results reports) in the Post Trial section under Reports, Papers, & Other Materials.
Registering Re-Entering Citizens to Vote
Initial registration date
August 13, 2019
June 30, 2020 1:49 PM EDT
This section is unavailable to the public. Use the button below
to request access to this information.
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Millions of people in the US are eligible to vote despite past felony convictions, but their voter participation rates are extraordinarily low. Efforts to register and mobilize this population have foundered due to data limitations. In this pilot project, we will test a method for registering previously-convicted or formerly-incarcerated people to vote. We propose to use administrative data to identify and find contact information for people with past convictions, and then to send them messages encouraging them to register. This pilot study will lay the groundwork for a larger experiment. Ultimately, we plan a large randomized control trial to test the efficacy of such contacts for converting returning citizens into registered voters. This type of evidence is especially important as states consider restoring voting rights to individuals with felony convictions who remain disenfranchised.
We will contact previously-convicted people prior to fall municipal elections, offering them information about eligibility to vote and a registration form and stamped envelope to return that form to the board of elections.
We will scale up the previous pilot study for a larger trial prior to the 2020 general election. We will use a between-subjects design with several treatment arms and an (uncontacted) control group.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Voter registration (appearing on the state's public voter file) and voting in municipal elections where relevant, as well as longer-term voter participation in the next statewide election.
For the larger scaled up project we will also collect data for voting in the General Election.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
We will randomly divide people in a sample of previously-convicted residents of North Carolina into two groups; the "control" group will not be contacted, while the "treatment" group will be sent a letter telling them about the voter registration process and encouraging them to register if eligible.
For the scaled-up study we will use a between-subjects design with several treatment arms and an (uncontacted) control group.
Experimental Design Details
randomization done in office by a computer
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
8,621 people for whom we have addresses in the initial sample.
Across all conditions and control groups, we expect a total sample size of about 161,000 individuals in the 2020 trial.
Sample size: planned number of observations
same as clusters (individual randomization)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
people will be randomized with equal probability into treatment/control conditions (so n/2).
People will be randomized with equal probability into treatment/control conditions for the 2020 expansion.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number