Citizen Engagement in Election Monitoring in the US and Beyond

Last registered on January 14, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Citizen Engagement in Election Monitoring in the US and Beyond
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0008812
Initial registration date
January 13, 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
January 14, 2022, 2:03 PM EST

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

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Portland State University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Portland State University

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2022-01-14
End date
2023-02-14
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
There is a growing and already robust literature on election monitoring internationally. This research focuses on how individuals perceive the work of election monitors through the prism of their social group and views toward international actors. In the US, election monitoring is an increasingly relevant though understudied topic. Using a randomized survey experiment conducted mong 600 US residents, this study explores the factors that lead citizens to more engagement in grassroots electoral monitoring and shape their views of the freeness and fairness of elections.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Benstead, Lindsay and Stephanie Singer. 2022. "Citizen Engagement in Election Monitoring in the US and Beyond." AEA RCT Registry. January 14. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8812
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
We propose to run a survey of 600 participants who are eligible to vote in the US. (Future work may take place in other countries such as Turkey or Tunisia where local groups participate in electoral monitoring). The survey experiment will be run by Qualtrics.
Although the sample will not be representative of the US population more broadly, it will include citizens from most US states and territories and include republication and democratic party members and leaners and independents/those with no party affiliation.
The primary independent variables are social group (gender, party identity, race/ethnicity, etc.) and the degree of social capital (being able to rely on others, belonging to an organization).

Qualtrics will perform the following sample services (the 'Sample Service'): Targetable Screeners:
- 18+ aged U.S. Citizens
- N = 200 Democrats (self described)
- N = 200 Republicans (self described)
- N = 200 Naturally select political party
Quotas:
Ethnicity
50% White
50% Other (Non white)

Intervention Start Date
2022-01-14
Intervention End Date
2022-02-14

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
1) US elections untrustworthy
2) Should be investigation
3) Interested in doing election oversight
4) Should be allowed to observe
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Understanding how and why citizens engage in and perceive electoral processes.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Respondents will be placed in three groups:
Group 1-Control: Hear about a potential error in the electoral results in a close contest.
Group 2-Democrat Lost: Hear about a potential error in the electoral results in a close contest in which a Democrat lost.
Group 3-Republication Lost: Hear about a potential error in the electoral results in a close contest in which a Republican lost.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done by a computer
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
No clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
600 individuals not in a cluster
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
600
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Portland State University
IRB Approval Date
2021-12-21
IRB Approval Number
N/A
Analysis Plan

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