New Study Finds Texting Increased Young Voter Primary Turnout

Media Contacts
Brad Ashwell

Text Tactics Play Key Role in Newly-Launched Get out the Vote Efforts

Florida PIRG Education Fund

TALLAHASSEE, FL –  Text message reminders sent to young voters on Super Tuesday increased turnout by 4.6 percentage points among the targeted population, according to results released today by the Student PIRGs New Voters Project and CREDO Mobile, in cooperation with the University of Notre Dame.

“Technology can reach young voters at a speed and volume unprecedented just a few years ago,” said Sujatha Jahagirdar, Program Director of the Student PIRGs New Voters Project.  “Results like these will change the face of campaigns for years to come.”

The Student PIRGs and CREDO Mobile sent text message ‘get out to vote’ reminders to 3,600 randomly selected young voters on Super Tuesday.    The effectiveness of these messages was tabulated by Dr. David Nickerson of the University of Notre Dame after matching the names of those who received a text reminder with voter files compiled after the 2008 primaries and comparing turnout to a control group not sent the messages.

The results are consistent with a similar study released by the Student PIRGs, CREDO Mobile and researchers from Princeton University and the UniversityMichigan last fall.  of

“We can turn a network into a movement” Becky Bond with CREDO Mobile. “Text messaging is now a proven technology when it comes to turning out young people to vote.”

Both the Student PIRGs and CREDO Mobile will incorporate text messaging extensively into efforts over the next 20 days to turn out young voters. 

On November 3rd the Student PIRGs will partner with CREDO Mobile to send tens of thousands of students a reminder to vote.

In the weeks leading up to the election, the Student PIRGs will also set up ‘texting tables’ on 100 college campuses in 17 states that will stop thousands of students on their way to class and ask them to pledge to vote, then send a get out the vote reminder to five friends.   Student volunteers will also invade classrooms and ask their fellow students to put down their pens, pick up their phones and text a vote reminder to all the friends in their phonebooks.

The general public can run their own “text out the vote” campaign at CREDO Mobile’s Simply visit the Web site, type in a message of 160 characters or less urging your friends to vote, add their mobile phone numbers and CREDO Mobile will deliver that message along with hundreds of thousands of others, on Election Day.

Person to person organizing will make a difference on Election Day. Together, the Student PIRGs and  CREDO Mobile are using mobile phone technology in the field and online  to ensure that young people vote in unprecedented numbers on Election Day.

 “The millennial generation has the potential to transform our democracy,” concluded CREDO Mobile’s Becky Bond. “This revolution will almost certainly be text messaged.”


CREDO Mobile supports serious causes with cool phones, making it easy for cell phone users to support the causes they care about with every call. In its history, the company has donated more than $60 million to progressive nonprofits, helped over four million people register to vote and recruited over 10,000 pollworkers to help strengthen American democracy.

The Student PIRGs’ New Voters Project is the nation’s largest non-partisan, on-the-ground student voter mobilization program. Our voter registration and Get Out the Vote work has been extensively studied.