Hostname: page-component-cd4964975-pf4mj Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-03-30T02:00:02.444Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Putting the Party Back into Politics: An Experiment Testing Whether Election Day Festivals Increase Voter Turnout

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 October 2007

Elizabeth M. Addonizio
Yale University
Donald P. Green
Yale University
James M. Glaser
Tufts University


A century and a half ago, casting a vote in the United States was an engaging social experience, as voters at the polls talked with friends, threw down shots of free whiskey, listened to lively entertainment, and generally had a good time (McGerr 1986). According to Altschuler and Blumin (2000, 75)We are grateful to Pam Lamonaca and Nicole Batdorf, who played a key role in organizing Election Day festivals, and Timothy Ryan and Marcos Luis, who helped in all phases of this project. We also thank Dan Winslow, whose ideas about raising turnout were an impetus for this project, and Dan Bergan and Beth Weinberger, who commented on earlier drafts. The studies described here were funded by generous grants from the Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale, the Tufts Summer Scholars Program, and Working Assets, none of which bear responsibility for the content of this report.

© 2007 The American Political Science Association

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Altschuler, Glenn C., and Stuart M. Blumin. 2000. Rude Republic: Americans and Their Politics in the Nineteenth Century. Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bai, Matt. 2004. “Who Lost Ohio?New York Times Magazine, November 21. Archived at Scholar
Bensel, Richard Franklin. 2004. The American Ballot Box in the Mid-Nineteenth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Berinsky, Adam J. 2005. “The Perverse Consequences of Electoral Reform in the United States.” American Politics Research 33(4): 47191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boruch, Robert, Henry May, Herbert Turner, Julia Lavenberg, Anthony Petrosino, Dorothy de Moya, Jeremy Grimshaw, and Ellen Foley. 2004. “Estimating the Effects of Interventions That are Deployed in Many Places: Place-Randomized Trials.” American Behavioral Scientist 47: 60833.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Call, Matthew. 2005. “Hooksett voters will be partying at the polls.” Union Leader, May 8, B5.Google Scholar
Campbell, Angus, Phillip E. Converse, Warren E. Miller, and Donald E. Stokes. 1960. The American Voter. New York: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
Chicago Daily Herald. 2002. “Oberweis Offering Free Ice Cream to Voters.” Chicago Daily Herald, November 2, B1.Google Scholar
Fitzgerald, Mary. 2005. “Greater Convenience but not Turnout: The Impact of Alternative Voting Methods on Electoral Participation in the United States.” American Politics Research 33: 84267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Freedman, David, Robert Pisani, and Roger Purves. 1998. Statistics, 3rd ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar
Green, Donald P., and Alan S. Gerber. 2004. Get Out the Vote! How to Increase Voter Turnout. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
Hauser, Walter, and Wendy Singer. 1986. “The Democratic Rite: Celebration and Participation in Indian Elections.” Asian Survey 26: 94158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Highton, Benjamin. 2004. “Voter Registration and Turnout in the United States.” Perspectives on Politics 2: 50715.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Huckfeldt, Robert, and John Sprague. 1992. “Political Parties and Electoral Mobilization: Political Structure, Social Structure, and the Party Canvass.” American Political Science Review 86: 7086.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Karp, Jeffrey A., and Susan A. Banducci. 2000. “Going Postal: How All-Mail Elections Influence Turnout.” Political Behavior 22: 22339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Knack, Stephen. 2001. “Election-Day Registration: The Second Wave.” American Politics Research 29: 6578.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lake, R. L., and Robert Huckfeldt. 1998. “Social Capital, Social Networks, and Political Participation.” Political Psychology 19: 56784.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lieberson, Stanley. 1987. Making it Count: The Improvement of Social Research and Theory. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar
McGerr, Michael. 1986. The Decline of Popular Politics: The American North, 1865–1928. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Palfrey, Thomas R., and Howard Rosenthal. 1985. “Voter Participation and Strategic Uncertainty.” American Political Science Review 79(1): 6278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Putnam, Robert D. 2000. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon and Schuster.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Riker, William H., and Peter C. Ordeshook. 1968. “A Theory of the Calculus of Voting.” American Political Science Review 62: 2542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rusk, Jerrold G. 1974. “Comment: The American Electoral Universe: Speculation and Evidence.” American Political Science Review 68(3): 102849.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Verba, Sidney, and Norman H. Nie. 1972. Participation in America. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar