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Can ATMs Get Out the Vote? Evidence from a Nationwide Field Experiment

João Pereira Santos, José Tavares and Pedro Vicente ()

No 13991, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: We report on a large-scale field experiment to assess ATMs (automatic teller machines) capacity to "get out the vote". This is a heretofore unexploited method. Our experimental design used the universe of functioning ATMs in Portugal. We randomly selected a set of treatment civil parishes, where a civic message took over the totality of ad time, which we compare with a set of control areas. The campaign we follow was active for three days before and during the 2017 local elections. Although we do not achieve statistical significance on a stable but small average treatment effect, when we consider the intensity of treatment, results show a statistically significant increase in the likelihood of voting. Placebo tests using turnout rates in previous elections strengthen our interpretation. We ran a post-treatment survey around ATMs located in two neighbouring civil parishes, one treated, the other not. We found a sizeable difference in recall.

Keywords: ATMs; Local Elections; Portugal; Voter mobilization (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 D72 H70 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-exp, nep-pay and nep-pol
Date: 2019-09
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