Tactics Used
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Voter Registration Case Study

3% increase in 18 to 24-year-old voter turnout

Campus polling places saw lines for the first time

Voter Registration Marketing Campaign

Generation Y Millennials targeted for a voter registration campaign.

How do you overcome voter apathy and move 18 to 24 -year-olds to vote? Statistics from the 2004 election in Washoe County, Nevada, showed an increase in voter registration for 18 to 24-year-olds, however, only one out of every four actually voted. With 2006 being a non-presidential election year, the Washoe County Registrar of Voters predicted that even fewer than 25% of eligible 18 to 24-year-olds would vote. Washoe County wanted to use an existing partnership with the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), Athletics Department to improve Generation Y voter registration and turnout. The successful campaign not only saw an increase in Millennials registering and voting, but it also was a successful partnership between the county and university.

Athletes deliver our voter registration marketing campaign to Generation Y Millennials.

UNR athletes rank top in their fields. They work hard to compete, to win. Our 18 to 24-year-old audience also work hard, some two jobs. They look at the voting process as something they had to set aside time for - to register, to follow candidates and ultimately to vote. Athletes work hard and wouldn’t dream of going through the process and not show up for the big game, competition, etc. Our angle: why would you (an 18 to 24-year-old) live, work and play hard in a place where you don’t have a say in what goes on?

Two key tactics were developed. The first was a call to “Register,” that ran until the deadline to register to vote in the primary. The second key message “Vote!” was dominant until the election. KPS3 created targeted email databases and designed and produced e-blasts, web banners, billboards, television, radio, print ads, bill-stuffers and newsletter articles to get the message out.

Generation Y Millenials turn out after voter registration campaign.

Washoe County Registrar of Voters estimates 18 to 24-year-old voter turnout increased by about 3% (based on an analysis of the voter registration records). Anecdotally, there were lines at campus polling places for the first time supporting our analysis that voter turnout had increased for the 18 to 24-year-old population group.

Campaign exposure also helped break the record for early voting turnout previously set during the 2004 presidential election. The final general election voter turnout was nearly 63%, again breaking the comparable non-presidential election of 2002 voter turnout record (58%) and just 5% lower than the 2004 presidential election, which typically commands a higher voter turnout.


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