INFO SCIENCE: Here's a great way of using information to 'encourage' people to do the right thing. An experiment is being performed in Michigan where a researcher is sending out information about who did and didn't vote to everyone in a neighborhood.
The report card will be mailed to approximately 3700 people in 2400 households, located in 188 city blocks scattered across Michigan.
The researcher is interested to find out if people will be more likely to vote if they know that all of their neighbors will know that they didn't vote once the election is over.
[R]oughly 10 percent of the eligible voters tell survey workers that they actually voted when they did not. It may be that reminding this group to vote is useless because they have developed a cynical strategy to accommodate get out the vote campaigns. They know when election is. They know where their precinct is located. They agree that voting is very important. They promise to vote. And afterwards they tell anyone who asks that they did vote. Since no one checks, they have found the path of least resistance.
The idea is to shame these liars into actually voting. I'm all for it.