Encouraging citizens to vote

The challenge

Enhance the effectiveness of governmental text messages to increase voter turnout during mayoral elections.

Our response

A unique experiment was carried out during the French 2014 municipal elections : messages infused with behavioural science were sent to encourage citizen engagement. We tested three behavioral levers, including social norms, the hawthorne effect and the most effective one, loss aversion. The messages were delivered via two different channels (SMS and mail).

The results

Voter turnout increased by 7 percentage points in the nudged group, reaching 71%.

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