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Rock (Out) the Vote! Parties and Prizes Raise Voter Turnout

Cast a vote! Win a prize! English voters may soon have motivation to cast a vote that goes beyond civic duty. One official wants to enter voters into a raffle when they cast a ballot in local elections. She hopes it would lead to high turnout and overall community engagement.

About 150 years ago, Americans spent election day enjoying free (alcoholic) beverages and live entertainment with friends. These parties, along with the 90 percent voter turnout, remain in the past.

But, a recent test study conducted by Yale University political scientists found that well-advertised parties at the polls substantially increased voter turnout in a local election.

Does celebratory or solemn make for a better polling mood? Would you worry that "incentives" could send the wrong message or get partisan?


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