American Government and Politics

RETRACTED: Party at the Mailbox: Mobilizing Black Voters with Celebrations of Community

Retraction Notice

There is a sentence in the original draft that uses the word “gift” that we are replacing at the request of the partnering community organization; they are concerned that the word might open them up to legal action. The original sentence is: “Another GOTV tactic related to PATM is the idea of encouraging turnout by eligible voters using gifts, as the project gave households a box of desirable goods.” In the updated draft, we have replaced that sentence with this one: “Other scholars have studied the power of increasing turnout through the use of political favors or tangible incentives.” This retraction was initiated by the institution, funder or other body responsible for the research, and it has been agreed to by all authors. There has been no institutional investigation associated with this retraction. No other content is affected by the reason for retraction.



In early 2020 Black Girls Vote, Inc. (BGV) created an initiative to deliver customized locally-themed voter engagement boxes to Baltimore city residents. The pilot Party at the Mailbox (PATM) effort for the June 2020 primary was enormously successful, increasing turnout by 3.5 percentage points overall and by 12.4 percentage points among low-propensity members of households where boxes were delivered. We continued to partner with BGV for the fall general elections as they again worked to increase turnout in Baltimore and also expanded to Detroit and Philadelphia, and for the January 2021 U.S. Senate runoff election in Atlanta. We conclude that PATM works because it cultivates a spirit of celebration about voting that capitalizes on Black group consciousness and Black attitudes about the power of the vote.


Thumbnail image of APSR PATM 22 Sept 2021.pdf


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