1. Make them visualize going to the polls.

It is now standard practice for canvassers in the days before an election to ask what time a respondent plans to vote and what he or she will be doing immediately beforehand. But the volunteer never writes down the answers.

This approach was first tested before the 2008 Democratic primary in Pennsylvania, as part of a field experiment by Harvard psychologist Todd Rogers and Notre Dame political scientist David Nickerson. They were testing a concept known as “the plan-making effect”: that people who are induced to rehearse an activity are more likely to follow through.

They found that voters who were asked to talk through their voting plans turned out at a rate four percentage points higher than those who didn’t. It was particularly effective among voters in single-person households, boosting their turnout by nearly 10 points. Why would this be more effective with singles? Spouses and roommates often engage in collaborative plan-making; for those who live alone, a campaign volunteer was stepping into that role.