Any New Yorkers out there who like sending “go vote!” emails to their friends? I need you to join my crew of GOTV guinea pigs!
I’m looking for volunteers to collaborate with me on a totally unique way to strengthen progressive politics — studying whether GOTV emails to friends make a difference in turnout. I think they might. And I want actual hard data to prove it.
The idea comes from the controversy sparked by my last blog post, “Let Them Send Emails,” in which I and two other progressive New Yorkers touted our very unscientific, but impressive results from sending out GOTV emails to our friends. Social scientists who read the piece dismissed my methodology, and rightly so. Now I’m actually designing a (fairly) scientific study to create measurable, accurate results.
If you want to join me, here’s all you need to do:
1. Write an email to your friends, urging them to vote. The shorter and sweeter, the better. I don’t care what it says, as long as the point is, “Get yourself to the polls on Nov 2.”
2. Make a list of everyone in NY to whom you could send.
3. Send me your list, no later than noon on Thursday, Oct 28.
4. I will then randomize the list, and send you back HALF of the list.
5. On Nov 1, you send your email out to that half of the list.
That’s it. Should take you an hour, tops.
Going through this process will create a “treatment” group and a “control” group of your friends. After the election, I will pull the voter file from the NY Board of Elections, and look at which of your friends voted and which didn’t. If the “treatment” group voted in higher numbers than the “control” group, then the emails worked.
It goes without saying that your friends’ personal data will NEVER be public, anywhere, and that your friends will only be contacted by you. Zero privacy issues.
There’s a lot of buzz these days about using new technology to turn out votes. As someone who cares deeply about democracy and elections, I want to learn everything I can about how to get more voters to the polls. So why wait for someone else to do the study, when we can do it ourselves?
Email me — tate-at-tatehausman-dot-com — if you want to collaborate with me.