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Electoral Engineering and Cross-National Turnout Differences: What Role for Compulsory Voting?

    • Published online: 01 January 1999

Low electoral turnout is often considered to be bad for democracy, whether inherently or because it calls legitimacy into question or because low turnout implies lack of representation of certain groups and inegalitarian policies. Yet there would appear to be a straightforward cure for low turnout: make voting compulsory. Of the twenty-five countries in the International Almanac of Electoral History for which Katz has collected institutional data, four have compulsory voting. Turnout in these countries averages 89 per cent, as compared to 75 per cent in the other twenty-one countries.

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British Journal of Political Science
  • ISSN: 0007-1234
  • EISSN: 1469-2112
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-political-science
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