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Turning Environmentalists into Better Voters

The Environmental Voter Project understands that elected leaders care more about the opinions of voters than of non-voters.

 

Polling consistently shows that people who turn out to vote rate climate change as a low priority. Meanwhile, people who rate climate change as a high priority do not turn out to vote. In fact, estimates from recent nationwide elections showed more than 15 million people who identified as environmentalists stayed home on Election Day. Given such voting trends, the odds that politicians will tackle important environmental policies are dim.

 

To change these odds, the Environmental Voter Project applies the best in behavioral science to spur environmentally minded people to show up at the polls—not for a specific candidate or a specific election, but every time elections roll around. Recently, the group and its partner, The Years Project, developed carefully planned digital advertising to mobilize non-voting environmentalists.

 By converting non-voters into more civically active, engaged citizens, they are now well-positioned to demand that elected leaders support better environmental policy.

For example, in 2018 the Environmental Voter Project launched a nonpartisan video campaign in Georgia focusing on environmentalists who typically stay home on Election Day. The goal was to get them to change their behavior and vote—not just in this election cycle but in every election. Through a randomized control trial, analysts saw a 2.1 percent increase in voter turnout directly attributable to its work in Georgia.

 

Ultimately, these efforts are a down payment on a healthier democracy and environment. By converting non-voters into more civically active, engaged citizens, they are well positioned to demand that elected leaders support better environmental policy.