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The Effects of Canvassing, Telephone Calls, and Direct Mail on Voter Turnout: A Field Experiment

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 September 2000

Alan S. Gerber
Yale University
Donald P. Green
Yale University


We report the results of a randomized field experiment involving approximately 30,000 registered voters in New Haven, Connecticut. Nonpartisan get-out-the-vote messages were conveyed through personal canvassing, direct mail, and telephone calls shortly before the November 1998 election. A variety of substantive messages were used. Voter turnout was increased substantially by personal canvassing, slightly by direct mail, and not at all by telephone calls. These findings support our hypothesis that the long-term retrenchment in voter turnout is partly attributable to the decline in face-to-face political mobilization.

Research Notes
Copyright © American Political Science Association 2000

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