Date of Defense
Date of Graduation
Amanda Frances Devoto
The present project aimed to apply principles of behavioral science, specifically prompting, to increase voter turnout in a low voter community. The study used a mixed-model group experimental design in which voting in an experimental and control group was measured across two occasions. The sample population consisted of one off-campus community, which was District 4 of the City of Kalamazoo. This district was chosen because it was the district within the city with the lowest voter turnout in the 2016 election. The participants were randomly selected from within the district and randomly assigned to an experimental (N=68) and control (N=67) group. The intervention consisted of mailing a postcard then a flyer to voters, with both mailers containing information regarding the upcoming 2018 midterm election. The experimental group received the mailing intervention and the control group did not. The main dependent variable was voting in the 2018 midterm election, which was compared to voting to the previous 2014 midterm election. After the 2018 election voter turnout data were analyzed. The results show that, there was an 62% percent increase in voting in both groups in the 2018 midterm election compared to the 2014 midterm election, but that voting was higher in the mailing group. Specifically, voter turnout was 34.6% higher in the experimental group compared to the control group. The results show there is a percent difference of 54 %, which support prior research in showing that mailers may be an effective strategy for promoting voter turnout.
Stewart, Bionca, "Increasing Political Behaviors in Local Communities" (2019). Honors Theses. 3134.
Honors Thesis-Open Access