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Research Articles

Vol. 18 No. 1

Can Face-to-Face Mobilization Boost Student Voter Turnout? REsults of a Campus Field Experiment

  • David Hill
  • Paul Lachelier
March 31, 2014


American colleges and universities have an expanding role to play in nurturing political engagement as more youth attend college. Given low voter turnout among college students yet growing experimental evidence that face-to-face mobilization can boost turnout, the experiment reported in this article examined the impact of a face-to-face college student mobilization effort on a small, private university in Florida. The authors found a non-significant difference in turnout between those students contacted and those not contacted. The findings suggest that although it is generally difficult to mobilize U.S. citizens, it may be especially difficult to mobilize U.S. college students. Brief recommendations are offered for steps university members can take to make elections a more established part of college students’ experience.