Putting the Party Back into Politics: An Experiment Testing Whether Election Day Festivals Increase Voter Turnout
, Donald P.
and James M.
a1 Yale University
a2 Yale University
a3 Tufts University
A century and a half ago, casting a vote in the United States was an engaging social experience, as voters at the polls talked with friends, threw down shots of free whiskey, listened to lively entertainment, and generally had a good time (McGerr 1986). According to Altschuler and Blumin (2000, 75) a
a We are grateful to Pam Lamonaca and Nicole Batdorf, who played a key role in organizing Election Day festivals, and Timothy Ryan and Marcos Luis, who helped in all phases of this project. We also thank Dan Winslow, whose ideas about raising turnout were an impetus for this project, and Dan Bergan and Beth Weinberger, who commented on earlier drafts. The studies described here were funded by generous grants from the Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale, the Tufts Summer Scholars Program, and Working Assets, none of which bear responsibility for the content of this report.