2004 Student Research Conference:
17th Annual Student Research Conference

Social Science

The Effects of Electoral Institutions on Voter Turnout in Industrialized Democracies: A Lesson for the United States
Lee T. Hall
Dr. Candy Young, Faculty Mentor

While historically the United States has been seen as the bastion of modern democracies, there appears to be components of the democratic equation missing, in particular, political participation. It is important to note that political participation can be observed in many forms such as protesting and campaign involvement but, it most often manifests itself in citizens participating in its government’s elections. Yet, in the highly contested presidential election of 2000, slightly more than forty-nine percent of all citizens of voting age went to the polls, while various other democratic nations have rates much higher than this. How then can this disparity be explained? While drawing on the earlier work of Robert Jackman, this work attempts to test the effects that certain electoral institutions have upon voter turnout in stable democracies across the world. These results are then used as a springboard for possible solutions to solve the problem of poor turnout in relation to American elections.

Keywords: Voting, Voter Turnout, Democracies, Institutions

Topic(s):Political Science

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 25-4
Location: OP 2111
Time: 10:45

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