Research: Txt reminders increase voter turnout in New Zealand

Some interesting research on how text message reminders helped increase voter turnout in last year’s general elections:

In a controlled experiment on New Zealand’s parliamentary election day in 2008 those who received a txt (SMS) message from the “orange elections guy” reminding them to vote had a 4.7% point higher turnout than those who did not receive the txt message. This level of impact is large for a direct marketing initiative of its type and for a turnout differential between matched cohorts and indicates an effective and cost efficient way of prompting people to vote. Assuming the txt recipients were younger and more likely to be first time voters due to the general profile of txt users, large-scale adoption of this intervention could be particularly effective at motivating a priority audience for the Electoral Commission (and election management bodies (EMBs) internationally).

It made me wonder how many libraries offer text notices for reserves, overdues etc?  Does yours? (mine doesn’t …)

2 thoughts on “Research: Txt reminders increase voter turnout in New Zealand

  1. University of Canterbury Library texts for overdue hourly loans and overdue requested items. (Approximately that, anyway.) Occasionally you see students come sprinting into the library, cell phone in one hand, 3-hour loan in the other. It’s very successful and they very much appreciate it.

    Pre-overdue email notices also got a warm reception.

  2. Penny says:

    We’re investigating how to implement it… on the list of “things we should do now we have Voyager” 😉

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