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Where You Vote Changes How You Vote

A Stanford study found that where you vote can influence how you vote. For instance, voting at a school increased support for school funding measures and voting at a church decreased votes for stem cell research.

Photo of Daren Kwok

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This Stanford Study on how polling location affected support for a school funding initiative and stem cell research raised some interesting questions for me.

  • How can we use location to inspire and encourage people to vote?
  • How do current polling locations discourage voting and, as a result, further limit accessibility?
  • How do you create a voting environment that is free of bias, neutral and comfortable for voters of all socio-economic backgrounds and diverse beliefs?


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Photo of An Old

Very clean, simple, and powerful insight Daren. As someone who studied architecture its easy to see how the space could effect the mood of the person and thus their decisions.

If you want another interesting study on voting behavior, check out this study done by James Fowler. Its a bit of game theory, but it gives good insight into some other influences (other than space) in voting.

Photo of Daren

Thanks for posting your study Campbell. The behavior of habitual voters and casual voters intrigues me. Maybe we could find a way to get the habitual voters to encourage the casual ones.

Photo of Paul

Very interesting questions you have raised Daren.
Far more interesting than the outcome of the Stanford Study.
I would be interested to know how important to people are such things as proximity, ease of parking, and size of voting space.
Judging by the study Americans are asked to vote on far more issues than Australians. Most of these issues are the subject of parliamentary debate and decision. At election time some of these issues will surface and gain sufficient public debate for candidates to declare their position and gain or lose support accordingly.

Photo of Paul

It would actually be interesting to know more of how th research was constructed - one inference from the description given is that voters make decisions at the time of voting. Whether this implies a lower level of political engagement in the US than in other places I dont know.

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