Senator Obama, it's an honor to respond to your question. And I have certainly added you to my "Contacts" list.
Before formulating my answer, I read six or seven pages of responses to see what people were saying. I realized the majority of them were telling you what characteristics they'd like their president to possess ... not what you could do between now and next year's election to increase turnout. Then the "light" went on. You can exude these oft-mentioned qualities on the campaign trail and in presidential debates:
1. Be a leader, not a politician.
2. Be human. Rather than offer an excuse, simply admit when you've made a mistake.
3. Be genuine. Don't tell each group you address or interact with something different in hopes you'll win their votes. Instead, be Barack Obama at ALL times.
4. Be positive. The vast majority of us don't like negative attacks. And, they often backfire.
5. Make each of us feel our vote is important.
6. Be accessible. Television advertisements and soundbites are not enough ... interact with Americans in town hall meetings!
Political scientists have identified factors that increase voter turnout, but unfortunately, you have no control over them: elections lacking a heavily-favored candidate, elections with a contentious issue, and same-day registration.
In addition, the Electoral College depresses turnout levels by producing the "tragedy of the commons." That is, a voter who supports the party that rarely "wins" their state feels their vote is, in effect, wasted ... and with the outcome of the 2004 election, they make a valid point.
Senator, by posing this question in this forum, you're astute enough to know the importance of going where Americans are (especially young Americans), courageous enough to be different, and humble enough to ask this question. I applaud you. And I maintain your intellect, courage, and humility will serve you well in the 2008 election.