…that can increase voter turnout by over ten percentage points.

The gimmick of the experiment is that it harnesses humans’ natural belief in essentialism (see, for example, reference 14 in the link above), the idea that being “a voter” is more essential than being a person who happened to vote.

As Bryan et al. put it, “people may be more likely to vote when voting is represented as an expression of self—as symbolic of a person’s fundamental character—rather than as simply a behavior.” [emphasis mine]

[Source: The Monkey Cage; Original PDF paper]

Although it is just one study but interesting finding in terms of voter behavior. This is especially significant given the latest brouhaha in India over the futility of voting. Anna Hazare supporters argued for practices beyond voting which is not necessarily wrong but to give up voting rights entirely actually makes things worse. Nitin Pai has argued excellently on how India Against Corruption (IAC) can actually strengthen Indian democracy by endorsing candidates that they perceive as clean. More information and more frequent participation in the political process can only make voting something to look forward to. The Indian voters have repeatedly demonstrated their sharp political awareness by throwing out corrupt and inefficient governments regardless of slick advertising campaigns.

I consider Indian voters at least as smart if not smarter than their American counterparts. Money plays a big part in both democracies but that ought not to dissuade us from exercising our basic right. There is no rule that stops you from further engaging with your government politically after you vote. I may disagree on your methods but I will never consider your actions wrong.