Five Last-Minute Persuasion Tricks to Change Someone's Vote Today

Five Last-Minute Persuasion Tricks to Change Someone's Vote TodayEXPAND
Gage Skidmore and Lorie Shaull via FlickrCC

If you're even the tiniest bit etiquette-minded, you've probably spent the past year politely changing the subject when your dad, boss, or Aunt Sally starts talking about why Shillary belongs in jail or when your college roommate blathers on and on about why he's expending his vote on Jill Stein. That's understandable.

But there are tactics you can secretly use to influence their vote without getting uninvited to Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, experts say these covert techniques actually work better to help change someone's mind — subtlety is your friend here.

Here are five proven methods if you want to sway a vote today. And in case you haven't heard, the Florida race is so tight that one vote might just swing this whole damn thing.  

If you haven't already, don't forget to vote Tuesday.
If you haven't already, don't forget to vote Tuesday.

1. Figure out their polling place.
Research shows that people who vote at churches tend to support more conservative politicians and amendments, while those who vote at schools are likelier to support more liberal ballot measures. Though you can’t change someone’s designated polling place, you can still encourage them to vote early, where they'll likely cast their ballot at a more neutral destination, such as a library or community center.

Five Last-Minute Persuasion Tricks to Change Someone's Vote Today
photo by Michele Eve Sandberg

2. Ask two innocent questions.
Author Daniel Pink says this simple “Jedi mind trick” can influence someone’s behavior: Just ask your target to rate their support of their chosen candidate from 1 to 10. If they say they’re about 6 for Candidate X, for example, ask them why they didn’t give a higher rating. This way, the other person rattles off their own hesitations and qualms about the candidate, which is far more effective than you listing yours.

3. Put up all the American flags (or take them all down).
A 2011 study from Cornell University and the University of Chicago showed that even brief exposure to an image of the American flag influenced people to think more Republican. If you’re pushing Trump this season, you could wear a flag tee to your polling place or change the background of your significant other’s phone to the Stars and Stripes. Likewise, if you’re decidedly not on the Trump train, steer clear of any flag memorabilia for the next few days.

4. Make voting seem like a lot of work that won’t make a difference.
OK, this is a little sinister, and it’s not actually a way to change someone’s vote, but more of a method to prevent someone from voting. Dilbert creator Scott Adams outlines this nefarious strategy on his blog, but basically, it involves turning your grandma/uncle/crazy-ass neighbor into the laziest version of themselves so they stay home on Election Day.

Five Last-Minute Persuasion Tricks to Change Someone's Vote Today
Photo Courtesy of HFA

5. Highlight celebrity endorsements and disavowals.
When faced with uncertainty, people look to authority figures to help them make a decision, according to leading influence expert Robert Cialdini. If you’re trying to persuade someone not to vote for Trump, for example, you could point to respected Republican figures who won’t be casting their ballots for him, including much of the Bush family and guys like security adviser John Noonan, who has grave concerns about how the Donald would handle nuclear codes.

Finally: Share a bunch of links to hyperpartisan so-called news articles from bogus websites on your Facebook page.
Just kidding! This is actually superannoying and will probably just make people think you're a mouth-breathing asshat with zero media literacy. Please, for the love of God (or whatever the secular equivalent of this phrase is), let's all stop spamming our loved ones, OK?


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