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New campaign mailers add peer pressure, but can they increase voter participation?

Nov 4, 2014

Photo of junk mail.
Credit Judith E. Bell / Flickr

Among the campaign mailers from different candidates, some voters in Michigan received something a little different: a postcard telling them whether they voted in a previous election and which of their neighbors did or didn’t vote.

One such flyer reads:

“Because we keep track of every individual voter, when you skip an election, we worry it could become a habit – a bad habit we want you to break. We’ll be looking for you at the polls Tuesday.”

This tactic adds a sense of peer pressure to the voting process, but does it actually increase voter participation?

Political consultant Mark Grebner discusses these postcards with us. He tells us how this group knows about your voting habits, and whether you should be worried if you received a postcard like this. He also tells us about the group behind these mailers, The Michigan Voter Project.

*Listen to our conversation with Mark Grebner above.