A recent get-out-the-vote experiment shows that turnout in primaries can be cost-effectively enlarged and broadened by targeting voters who only vote in general elections and who are often ignored by campaigns.
Building on a quarter century of get-out-the-vote efforts, MTV’s 2016 “Elect This” campaign will encourage young people to vote in support of the polices that inspire them, rather than the political system that doesn’t.
Higher voter turnout in those primaries would help prevent polarization and encourage a well-functioning legislature.
More people would vote (and a more diverse group of people would vote) if they knew more about candidates’ fundamental policy positions.
Voter turnout can vary widely across states and within cities and counties, even when structural factors are the same. A shared sense of responsibility among residents for taking care of their communities may be part of the explanation.
To increase voter turnout, other approaches are needed—ones intended not to inflame passions about what may be at stake in a particular election but instead to connect more voters to the process of voting and to the value of participating in our democracy.