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Data Points to the Power of the Ask

The simple act of asking young people to vote is one of the most effective ways to engage them in elections.

During the summer we polled nearly 1,700 youth, 18 to 29 years old, about the 2012 election. Among many questions, we asked what would influence the respondents to vote. There was a clear answer: ask.

Almost half of young respondents reported that being asked by a friend or a parent would or might influence them to vote. In fact, of the situations that we asked about,  the one they said would have the most influence was being asked by a parent.

This response is not unusual; for many behaviors, research has shown that young people get involved when asked by someone whom they trust. As we show in a recent report, sometimes not being asked sends a message to young people that their voice and participation are not wanted.

Let’s start asking.