Politicians, candidates, and students of the political system have long debated a question that goes to the heart of a healthy democracy: What are the best ways to increase voter turnout?
Election experts Donald Green and Alan Gerber, the authors of Get Out the Vote! How to Increase Voter Turnout, a new book from the Brookings Institution Press, challenge the conventional wisdom—and the advice of professional campaign consultants. Green and Gerber's research, based on randomized experiments conducted in political campaigns over several years, shows that not all popular (and expensive) get-out-the-vote tactics are as effective as they are thought to be, and that old-fashioned, door-to-door campaigning can be surprisingly effective and affordable.
Participants in this discussion, sponsored by Brookings and the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), debated the best and most cost-effective ways to increase voter participation and youth turnout in the 2004 presidential elections.