Getting Out The Vote: Outreach Strategies to Increase Engagement and Participation In the 2018 City of Vancouver Election

Date

2018-01-25

Authors

Hendren, Paul

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Abstract

This report examines how public outreach activities can be used to increase citizen participation in the Vancouver election taking place on October 20, 2018. Research was conducted in three phases starting with a literature review on the topics of political engagement, voter behaviour, and factors known to affect voter turnout. Research also included analysis of demographic data and socioeconomic indicators for Vancouver’s 23 local areas, and comparisons to voter turnout in the 2014 election; as well as jurisdictional scans of four other government election agencies to identify smart practices. Research findings identified key barriers to voting, underrepresented demographics with low turnout, and methods for increasing voter participation through outreach. The report concludes with recommendations for expanding the City of Vancouver’s election outreach program in 2018, including consulting and partnering with community organizations to identify barriers and increase positive social cues; hiring multilingual outreach staff to attend community events; building capacity for peer-based outreach; and conducting a scientifically valid post-election survey of voters and non-voters.

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Keywords

political engagement, voter behaviour, political participation, barriers to voting, voter and non-voter characteristics, political knowledge

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