Gainesville Voter Turnout

Science is Vital

It is a well known fact that voter turnout in Gainesville municipal elections is “low.”

As an example, in the last election for Mayor in 2009, there was a 14.02% turnout, and for the run-off, turn out went UP – to 16.73%.

For conservatives, this often leads to complaining about voter apathy, low voter turnout, and bemoaning the fact that turnout is low.


The scientific research from Cialdini, explicitly shows “that by using a negative description norm as part of a rally-cry, we might be inadvertently focusing the audience on the prevalence, that then just the undesirability, of that behavior.”

Meaning the more we complain about low turnout, the more we cause low turnout.  We are saying that NOT VOTING is what everybody is doing.

We need to change how we present this information.  After all, we don’t want to increase turnout per se , especially in a county where we are outnumbered by Democrats.  We are interested in increasing turnout of people likely to vote for conservative candidates.

For example, I know from previous research done by our company that members of local business organizations actually turnout in higher proportions to the population as a whole.

If we want to encourage voter turnout of like minded people, we have to stress that the people DO vote, and according to the research, the more localized we can make this, the better results.

For example, members of my church or neighborhood or people who listen to my radio show or street vote in Gainesville City Elections.  We are making a difference and changing the discussion at the City.  You should join us in voting.

Why? Because it is science.

About Alex Patton