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How to actually vote your friends

Whether you deal with immigration issues protect health insurance for persons with pre-existing conditions or preserve your reproductive rights (or Obviously, all of the above and more), you know Her vote is not the only one that matters on Election Day. That's why it's just as important to do everything to get your friends to the polls.

The good news is that one of the best researched approaches is also one of the most straightforward: Appointment to her sense of civic duty Donald P. Green Ph.D., Professor of Political Science at Columbia University, Columbia University, tells SELF. "Self-registered voters who vote seldom still have a strong sense that they should vote for and many of them consider themselves voters, even if they vote only for presidential contests," he says. You can definitely work with that.

In addition, research shows that polls can be retried quickly . Wendy Wood Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Economics at the University of Southern California, tells SELF. And every time someone votes, it's more likely to do it again. "If you can get people to vote this time, they will vote more often in the future," she says. "So do not just do something good with this election, you're [influencing the polls in the long term]."

But where do you start?

. 1 First things first: make sure everyone is registered.

Most of the studies we have on people's voting refer only to people who are already registered to vote, Green says. And while many of the same strategies for attracting registered voters to votes are effective on unregistered voters, there is obviously another major hurdle that needs to be overcome first. So, if you take care of voter registration as early as possible, your other strategies will become even more effective.

Understandably, many unregistered voters are people who have just moved or move frequently, Green said. If possible, you should make it a priority if you get changed to register as soon as possible, and encourage your recently relocated friends to do the same. However, it is worth noting that some states make this easier than others. California, for example, automatically registers people to vote if they receive government IDs (they can still log out), and several other states have same-day registration and voting guidelines that greatly facilitate the process.

2 Have a real conversation with them – and do not rely on Facebook.

The best way to get the people you know talking to is to talk to them. But not all forms of communication are the same, says Green. Studies have shown that the more personalized and direct you try to reach the goal, the more likely it is that you will convince. Although studies on the potential uses of social media in this context are promising, "the impact is usually very small," says Green.

For example, a much cited study published in Nature examined in 2012 the impact of informative election news on Facebook, which was shown to millions of users during the 2010 congressional elections. Of the users involved in the experiment, 1 percent (approximately 610,000 people) saw what the researchers called an "informational message", a banner with a link to their voting site, encouraged them to vote and gave them the option to click a "I chose" Stud. Another percent was in the control group and received no message. When researchers match some of the users to publicly available voting data, the results show that people who only received the information message went to the polls at approximately the same rate as those who did not receive the message.

But the other 98 percent of users The experiment (about 60 million people) was shown a "social message", a banner that contained everything from the informational message – and the profile photos of up to six friends of that user, on the "I chose" button clicked. Those who saw this news had a 2 percent chance of clicking the "I dialed" button, and 0.3 percent more often clicked on the link to learn more about their voting information than those who did have seen the informational message. They were even 0.4 percent more likely than other groups. Overall, the researchers estimated that the social message directly contributed to 60,000 votes.

Those who did not receive the news directly still saw that their friends had clicked the "I chose" button, which could have indirectly contributed to another 280,000 votes. the researchers argued. But only the closest friends of the users, defined as the 20 percent of the friends that users were most likely to interact with on Facebook (probably people they know in real life and with whom they are connected or who have a particularly solid online presence). Have friendship) had a significant impact. In fact, for every close friend who had seen the social message, a particular user was 0.224 percent more likely than if his friend had not seen a message.

All this suggests that social media can help convince your friends to go to the polls, but only if you already have a strong personal connection. And even then, the effect is not exactly amazing, says Green: "The banner itself has done nothing and the widget [effect of the] with friends was well below one percentage point." On the other hand, a personal conversation with a friend or family member would more likely produce a greater impact he explains.

. 3 Do whatever you can to streamline the whole process.

Many of the strategies here are similar to those used in public health campaigns, according to Green, such as those that make people get flu shots or help a loved one reach a contact with a therapist . "This is not so much about self-help as it is about getting up and being counted for your community or for democracy," he says. "These are all sorts of things related to the typical registered voter."

And if you can make the experience as simple and rational as possible – including the consideration of logistical details, you can give someone a chance. You can turn an unsafe but motivated voter into a true voter do. For example, you can help your friends find their polling stations, or find out about transportation to and from their polling stations. "Go with them, meet them at the bus stop and get together, do something to make the surveys easier, and then start to build their own habits," says Wood.

Obviously you can not afford to worry about anything your friend might fear during the trek (for example, the notion that people could monitor the elections – possibly with cannons – not exactly inviting) But offering to go with them can help. Even as simple as the weather people may more or less likely choose (though the rain in other countries does not seem to bother as much as in the US). So, if you decide to go with a friend who may wiggle, that might be the thing that actually gets you there, even if you have to share an umbrella.

Remember, essentially, whenever you change the "context" in which a behavior occurs, you make it less likely to become a solid habit, Wood Notes, which includes your method of voting. Be especially mindful of those who might be present for a postal ballot, or those who have moved to a new apartment and are looking for a new polling station because they are particularly vulnerable to skipping.

4. If it helps, remember that you're organizing a party (and maybe even hosting one).

"People build habits when they repeat behavior – and when they are rewarded for it," explains Wood. That's why the little "I Voted" sticker you receive after submitting your ballot is surprisingly motivating. "Maybe only your spouse or a good friend sees you at dinner, but you still have bragging rights and you feel good," she says. "Those things that feel silly and should not really be that important," she says.

Green also suggests treating the act of voting as an "invitation to a social event". This could mean sending invitations (or even better inviting people in person) stating that you will be voting at a certain time and place, that you will all meet someone to go to your polling station, or so you will all meet for a drink. An organization, #VoteTogether continues the idea and helps people to organize actual parties that focus on polls, many of which can be held at polling stations or near polling stations.

But Wood says the more social and immediately the reward, the better. Hosting a party on election night may be nice, but it would be even more effective if you organize your friends, vote together and then give everyone a simple high-five. To get bonus points, take a selfie along with your stickers ( in a place where this is allowed by law !) And watch the Likes curl up.


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