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The Problem of Low and Unequal Voter Turnout - and What We Can Do About It. IHS Political Science Series No. 54, February 1998

Lijphart, Arend (1998) The Problem of Low and Unequal Voter Turnout - and What We Can Do About It. IHS Political Science Series No. 54, February 1998. [Working Paper]

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    Abstract

    Low voter turnout has become a serious problem in most democracies, not only in the United States but also in many West European countries – and even in a traditionally high-turnout country like Austria where turnout has also been declining in recent years. There are five reasons why we should be concerned about this problem: 1. Low turnout means low participation by less privileged citizens, who are already at a disadvantage in terms of other forms of political participation. 2. Unequal participation means unequal influence. 3. Actual turnout tends to be lower than the official turnout figures suggest. 4. Turnout in elections other than those at the national level tends to be particularly low. 5. Turnout is declining in most countries. The problem of low and unequal turnout can be solved by a number of institutional mechanisms such as proportional representation, concurrent and infrequent elections, weekend instead of weekday voting, and compulsory voting. The last of these – mandatory voting – is especially strong and effective, and also morally justified.

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    Item Type: Working Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Austria
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > European elections/voting behavior
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series: UNSPECIFIED
    ["eprint_fieldname_eusries" not defined]: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Institute for Advanced Studies (Vienna), Department of Political Science > IHS Political Science Series
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2011 15:25
    Number of Pages: 21
    Last Modified: 14 Sep 2011 15:25
    URI: http://aei.pitt.edu/id/eprint/32418

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