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Residential Mobility and Voter Turnout

Peverill Squire, Raymond E. Wolfinger and David P. Glass
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 81, No. 1 (Mar., 1987), pp. 45-66
DOI: 10.2307/1960778
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1960778
Page Count: 21
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Residential Mobility and Voter Turnout
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Abstract

We examine the characteristics of a largely ignored low-turnout group--people who have recently moved. We find that neither demographic nor attitudinal attributes explain their lower turnout. Instead, the requirement that citizens must register anew after each change in residence constitutes the key stumbling block in the trip to the polls. Since nearly one-third of the nation moves every two years, moving has a large impact on national turnout rates. We offer a proposal to reduce the effect of residential mobility on turnout and estimate that turnout would increase by nine percentage points if the impact of moving could be removed. The partisan consequences of such a change would be marginal.

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