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The Institutional and Political Factors that Influence Voter Turnout

John Merrifield
Public Choice
Vol. 77, No. 3 (Nov., 1993), pp. 657-667
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30027347
Page Count: 11
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The Institutional and Political Factors that Influence Voter Turnout
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Abstract

State data were used to develop an econometric model of voter turnout for an off-year (1982) general election. The premise of the research was that existing voter turnout models lacked some of the true explanatory variables. In particular, the political efficacy component of the decision to vote was believed to be under-represented in those models. Previously untested institutional, political, and weather variables proved to be significant explanatory variables. Many variables that were significant in previous studies were not significant in the 1982 general election analysis. 91 % of the variation in voter turnout was explained, a significant improvement over previous efforts. Since the values of many of the variables are directly chosen by elected officials, the model provides policymakers with a menu of opportunities for boosting voter turnout.

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