Right after the Landtag election in Bremen the subject of decreasing voter participation was openly discussed once more. Less people continue to vote, partially because less people now believe that they can change anything. The key to voter participation is called motivation – belonging to something, being able to change or participate in something.

Motivation can be created through the proper approach. The functional approach, or directly addressing the voter with their role, can be expanded through personalisation.

“A very little key will open a very heavy door.”

– Charles Dickens, English author –

Obama did it before: Addressing voter groups

The Obama election campaigns were highly successful and are also well documented. His electoral success shows that the current president of the USA has done a lot of things right. And when people do things well, others can watch and learn.

Obama’s electoral campaigns are mainly based on all sorts of information. His campaign team knows when something is coming up and is able to directly address the various needs of the voters while addressing them.

For instance, all voters were divided into different groups based on their respective voting behaviour, and then contacted. Groups could be “Voters”, “Non-voters” and “Irregular voters”. If it is possible to estimate the expected voting behaviour, all informational materials and all letters customised for them.

Voters can thus be thanked for their previous votes before they are asked to vote again. Non-voters may be informed what their votes can accomplish before they are prompted to vote. Irregular voters can have their doubts alleviated by having the reasons for moderate voter participation shown to them, making it clear that they can realise their visions – and then appeal to them.

Personalisation: How does one begin?

To find out how your voters tick, how they will handle an upcoming election and what the level of their motivation is, you begin a dialogue with them. Start out with questionnaires through email, social media or the phone, ask for feedback and get to know the voters. The information requested in this manner could create the foundation for the effective, personal approaches you need.

The key to success: Motivation

Once you have evaluated who is dealing with what thoughts before the upcoming vote or referendum, get started: Speak on even ground, do not accuse anyone, but change your tune. Attacking non-voters for their lack of motivation is too short-sighted. Every negative behaviour has a reason, a root – dig it up and counteract it, mainly with a positive attitude.

On the other side of things, you can thank neglectful voters right away. You are showing that all dedication is visible, and this increases their motivation to take part in another vote.