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    The Inside Story of MoveOn's Secret "Silver Bullet" to Deliver Victory for Obama

    ...After decades in tech and entrepreneurial circles, (Danny) Oran moved to MoveOn.org, the massive progressive organizing network. This summer, he set his mind to tackling a glaring problem he'd observed in American elections: registered voters who don't vote. In 2008, for instance, 38 percent of registered voters didn't cast a ballot in the presidential election.

    So Oran cast around for ideas. One day in August, he found his solution—in an unlikely place.

    Oran had been reading the work of Robert Cialdini, a former psychology professor and an expert in the power of persuasion. Cialdini had run experiments in southern California trying to get homeowners to reduce their energy use. When Cialdini distributed signs urging people to conserve energy to benefit the environment, or to save money, or to benefit future generations, they didn't respond. But when Cialdini's signs informed people that their neighbors were changing their ways to save energy, they responded. Energy use went down. Here Oran had an aha! moment: What if MoveOn applied Cialdini's findings to voting?

    On Wednesday, MoveOn unveiled a multimillion-dollar campaign to do just that. Between Tuesday and Election Day, the group will send 12 million "voter report cards" (PDF) designed by Oran to residents of presidential battleground states and other states with key Congressional races such as Connecticut and Massachusetts. The report cards grade recipients based on how often they've voted in the past, and—here's the kicker—the cards compare each individual's grade with the average grade of his or her neighbors. (Who you vote for is private information; how often you vote is public record.) "We've taken a social dynamic that gets people to turn out the lights, and we're using it to turn out the vote," says Justin Ruben, MoveOn's executive director.

    Emphasis added because the idea that anyone could know when I've voted bothered me until I learned that how I voted isn't part of the public record.

    I'm a Democrat - I believe that government has a positive role to play in the lives of ordinary people.

    by 1BQ on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 01:50:51 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

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