Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-59b7f5684b-j4fss Total loading time: 0.354 Render date: 2022-10-05T18:47:45.168Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": true, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

Politically Unengaged, Distrusting, and Disaffected Individuals Drive the Link Between Compulsory Voting and Invalid Balloting

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 April 2017

Abstract

Invalid ballots are relatively common in countries with compulsory voting, yet there is no cross-national evidence as to who is more likely to cast a blank or spoiled ballot where voting is forced. I argue that increased rates of blank and spoiled balloting where voting is obligatory result from the behavior of the politically unknowledgeable, uninterested, untrusting, and disaffected, who are incentivized to turn out to the polls where they can be sanctioned for abstention. To test this, I conduct an individual-level examination of the influence of compulsory voting on invalid balloting across countries. I find support for my expectations with analyses of survey data from several American democracies, many of which compel electoral participation.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
© The European Political Science Association 2017 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Footnotes

*

Shane P. Singh is an Associate Professor in the Department of International Affairs, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (singh@uga.edu). The author would like to thank Kymara Sneed and Kerri Anne Watson for their assistance. He also thanks the Latin American Public Opinion Project and Latinobarómetro for the data used in this project. To view supplementary material for this article, please visit https://doi.org/10.1017/psrm.2017.11

References

Almond, Gabriel Abraham, and Verba, Sidney. (eds). 1980. The Civic Culture Revisited. Boston, MA: Little Brown.Google Scholar
Barthélemy, Joseph. 1912. L’ Organisation Du Suffrage Et L’expérience Belge. Paris: M. Giard & É. Brière.Google Scholar
Berggren, Heidi M. 2001. ‘Institutional Context and Reduction of the Resource Bias in Political Sophistication’. Political Research Quarterly 54(3):531552.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Berry, William D., DeMeritt, Jacqueline H. R., and Esarey, Justin. 2010. ‘Testing for Interaction in Binary Logit and Probit Models: Is a Product Term Essential?American Journal of Political Science 54(1):248266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Birch, Sarah. 2009. Full Participation: A Comparative Study of Compulsory Voting. Manchester: Manchester University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Blais, André. 2006. ‘What Affects Voter Turnout?Annual Review of Political Science 9:111125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Blais, André, and St-Vincent, Simon Labbé. 2011. ‘Personality Traits, Political Attitudes and the Propensity to Vote’. European Journal of Political Research 50(3):395417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bowler, Shaun, and Donovan, Todd. 2013. ‘Civic Duty and Turnout in the UK Referendum on AV: What Shapes the Duty to Vote?Electoral Studies 32(2):265273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Broomall, John M. 1893. ‘Compulsory Voting’. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 3:9397.Google Scholar
Carlin, Ryan E. 2006. ‘The Decline of Citizen Participation in Electoral Politics in Post-Authoritarian Chile’. Democratization 13(4):632651.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carlin, Ryan E., and Love, Gregory J.. 2015. ‘Who is the Latin American Voter?’ In Ryan E. Carlin, Matthew M. Singer and Elizabeth J. Zechmeister (eds), The Latin American Voter: Pursuing Representation and Accountability in Challenging Contexts, 3159. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carreras, Miguel. 2016. ‘Compulsory Voting and Political Engagement (Beyond the Ballot Box): A Multilevel Analysis’. Electoral Studies 43(1):158168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carreras, Miguel, and Castañeda-Angarita, Néstor. 2014. ‘Who Votes in Latin America? A Test of Three Theoretical Perspectives’. Comparative Political Studies 47(8):10791104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Catterberg, Gabriela, and Moreno, Alejandro. 2006. ‘The Individual Bases of Political Trust: Trends in New and Established Democracies’. International Journal of Public Opinion Research 18(1):3148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dalton, Russell J., and Welzel, Christian. (eds). 2014a. The Civic Culture Transformed: From Allegiant to Assertive Citizens. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dalton, Russell J., and Welzel, Christian. 2014b. ‘From Allegiant to Assertive Citizens’. In R. J. Dalton and C. Welzel (eds), The Civic Culture Transformed: From Allegiant to Assertive Citizens, 282306. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dalton, Russell J., and Welzel, Christian. 2014c. ‘Political Culture and Value Change’. In R. J. Dalton and C. Welzel (eds), The Civic Culture Transformed: From Allegiant to Assertive Citizens, 234. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dalton, Russell J., and Shin, Doh Chull. 2014. ‘Reassessing the Civic Culture Model’. In R. J. Dalton and C. Welzel (eds), The Civic Culture Transformed: From Allegiant to Assertive Citizens, 91115. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
deCharms, Richard. 1968. Personal Causation: The Internal Affective Determinants of Behavior. Hillsdale, MI: Lawrance Erlbaum.Google Scholar
Deci, Edward L. 1975. Intrinsic Motivation. New York: Plenum Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
de Leon, Fernanda Leite Lopez, and Rizzi, Renata. 2014. ‘A Test for the Rational Ignorance Hypothesis: Evidence From a Natural Experiment in Brazil’. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 6(4):380398.Google Scholar
Dettrey, Bryan J., and Schwindt-Bayer, Leslie A.. 2009. ‘Voter Turnout in Presidential Democracies’. Comparative Political Studies 42(10):13171338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Driscoll, Amanda, and Nelson, Michael J.. 2014. ‘Ignorance or Opposition? Blank and Spoiled Votes in Low-Information, Highly Politicized Environments’. Political Research Quarterly 67(3):547561.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Engelen, Bart. 2007. ‘Why Compulsory Voting Can Enhance Democracy’. Acta Politica 42(1):2339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fornos, Carolina A., Power, Timothy J., and Garand, James C.. 2004. ‘Explaining Voter Turnout in Latin America, 1980 to 2000’. Comparative Political Studies 37(8):909940.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Galston, William A. 2001. ‘Political Knowledge, Political Engagement, and Civic Education’. Annual Review of Political Science 4(1):217234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goot, Murray. 1985. ‘Electoral Systems’. In D. Aitkin (ed.), Surveys of Australian Political Science, 179264. Sydney: George Allen & Unwin for the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.Google Scholar
Gordon, Stacy B., and Segura, Gary M.. 1997. ‘Cross-National Variation in the Political Sophistication of Individuals: Capability or Choice?Journal of Politics 59(1):126147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Grönlund, Kimmo, and Setälä, Maija. 2007. ‘Political Trust, Satisfaction and Voter Turnout’. Comparative European Politics 5(4):400422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Henn, Matt, and Oldfield, Ben. 2016. ‘Cajoling or Coercing: Would Electoral Engineering Resolve the Young Citizen-State Disconnect?Journal of Youth Studies 19(9):12591280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hirczy, Wolfgang. 1994. ‘The Impact of Mandatory Voting Laws on Turnout: A Quasi-Experimental Approach’. Electoral Studies 13(1):6476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hooghe, Marc, Marien, Sofie, and Pauwels, Teun. 2011. ‘Where Do Distrusting Voters Turn if There is No Viable Exit or Voice Option? The Impact of Political Trust on Electoral Behaviour in the Belgian Regional Elections of June 2009’. Government and Opposition 46(2):245273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Imbens, Guido W., and Lemieux, Thomas. 2008. ‘Regression Discontinuity Designs: A Guide to Practice’. Journal of Econometrics 142(2):615635.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Irwin, Galen. 1974. ‘Compulsory Voting Legislation: Impact on Voter Turnout in the Netherlands’. Comparative Political Studies 7(3):292315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jakobsen, Tor Georg, and Listhaug, Ola. 2014. ‘Social Change and the Politics of Protest’. In R. J. Dalton and C. Welzel (eds), The Civic Culture Transformed: From Allegiant to Assertive Citizens, 213239. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Karp, Jeffrey A., Banducci, Susan A., and Bowler, Shaun. 2003. ‘To Know It is to Love It?: Satisfaction With Democracy in the European Union’. Comparative Political Studies 36(3):271292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Knack, Stephen, and Keefer, Philip. 1997. ‘Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation’. Quarterly Journal of Economics 112(4):12511288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kostadinova, Tatiana, and Power, Timothy J.. 2007. ‘Does Democratization Depress Participation? Voter Turnout in the Latin American and Eastern European Transitional Democracies’. Political Research Quarterly 60(3):363377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kouba, Karel, and Lysek, Jakub. 2016. ‘Institutional Determinants of Invalid Voting in Post-Communist Europe and Latin America’. Electoral Studies 41(1):92104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kreft, Ita, and Leeuw, Jan de. 1998. Introducing Multilevel Modeling. London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lacroix, Justine. 2007. ‘A Liberal Defence of Compulsory Voting’. Politics 27(3):190195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lavareda, José Antônio. 1991. A Democracia Nas Urnas: O Processo Partidário Eleitoral Brasileiro (1945–1964). Rio de Janeiro: Rio Fundo Editora.Google Scholar
Lee, David S. 2008. ‘Randomized Experiments From Non-Random Selection in US House Elections’. Journal of Econometrics 142(2):675697.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lijphart, Arend. 1997. ‘Unequal Participation: Democracy’s Unresolved Dilemma’. American Political Science Review 91(1):114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Loewen, Peter John, Milner, Henry, and Hicks, Bruce M.. 2008. ‘Does Compulsory Voting Lead to More Informed and Engaged Citizens? An Experimental Test’. Canadian Journal of Political Science 41(3):655672.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McAllister, Ian, and Makkai, Toni. 1993. ‘Institutions, Society or Protest? Explaining Invalid Votes in Australian Elections’. Electoral Studies 12(1):2340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nerincx, Alfred. 1901. ‘Compulsory Voting in Belgium’. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 18:8790.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Panagopoulos, Costas. 2008. ‘The Calculus of Voting in Compulsory Voting Systems’. Political Behavior 30(4):455467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Payne, J. Mark, Zovatto, Daniel, and Díaz, Mercedes Mateo. 2006. La Política Importa: Democracia Y Desarrollo En América Latina. Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank and International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.Google Scholar
Power, Timothy J., and Garand, James C.. 2007. ‘Determinants of Invalid Voting in Latin America’. Electoral Studies 26(2):432444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Power, Timothy J., and Roberts, J. Timmons. 1995. ‘Compulsory Voting, Invalid Ballots, and Abstention in Brazil’. Political Research Quarterly 48(4):795826.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Prothro, James W., and Grigg, Charles M.. 1960. ‘Fundamental Principles of Democracy: Bases of Agreement and Disagreement’. Journal of Politics 22(2):276294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rabe-Hesketh, Sophia, and Skrondal, Anders. 2005. Multilevel and Longitudinal Modeling Using Stata. College Station, TX: Stata Press.Google Scholar
Reynolds, Andrew, and Steenbergen, Marco. 2006. ‘How the World Votes: The Political Consequences of Ballot Design, Innovation and Manipulation’. Electoral Studies 25(3):570598.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Scheff, Thomas J., and Retzinger, Suzanne M.. 1991. Emotions and Violence: Shame and Rage in Destructive Conflicts. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
See, Mark. 2007. ‘The Case for Compulsory Voting in the United States’. Harvard Law Review 121(2):591612.Google Scholar
Selb, Peter, and Lachat, Romain. 2009. ‘The More, the Better? Counterfactual Evidence on the Effect of Compulsory Voting on the Consistency of Party Choice’. European Journal of Political Research 48(5):573597.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sheppard, Jill. 2015. ‘Compulsory Voting and Political Knowledge: Testing a “Compelled Engagement” Hypothesis’. Electoral Studies 40(1):300307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sherman, Lawrence W. 1993. ‘Defiance, Deterrence, and Irrelevance: A Theory of the Criminal Sanction’. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 30(4):445473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shieh, Yann-Yann, and Fouladi, Rachel T.. 2003. ‘The Effect of Multicollinearity on Multilevel Modeling Parameter Estimates and Standard Errors’. Educational and Psychological Measurement 63(6):951985.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Singh, Shane P. 2011. ‘How Compelling is Compulsory Voting? A Multilevel Analysis of Turnout’. Political Behavior 33(1):95111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Singh, Shane P. 2015. ‘Compulsory Voting and the Turnout Decision Calculus’. Political Studies 63(3):548568.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Singh, Shane P. Forthcoming. ‘Compulsory Voting and Dissatisfaction With Democracy.’ British Journal of Political Science. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007123416000041 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stegmueller, Daniel. 2013. ‘How Many Countries for Multilevel Modeling? A Comparison of Frequentist and Bayesian Approaches’. American Journal of Political Science 57(3):748761.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tyler, Tom R. 2006. Why People Obey the Law. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Uggla, Fredrik. 2008. ‘Incompetence, Alienation, or Calculation? Explaining Levels of Invalid Ballots and Extra-Parliamentary Votes’. Comparative Political Studies 41(8):11411164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Welzel, Christian, and Alvarez, Alejandro Moreno. 2014. ‘Enlightening People: The Spark of Emancipative Values’. In R. J. Dalton and C. Welzel (eds), The Civic Culture Transformed: From Allegiant to Assertive Citizens, 5988. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Supplementary material: Link
Link
Supplementary material: PDF

Singh supplementary material

Appendix

Download Singh supplementary material(PDF)
PDF 830 KB
16
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Politically Unengaged, Distrusting, and Disaffected Individuals Drive the Link Between Compulsory Voting and Invalid Balloting
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Politically Unengaged, Distrusting, and Disaffected Individuals Drive the Link Between Compulsory Voting and Invalid Balloting
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Politically Unengaged, Distrusting, and Disaffected Individuals Drive the Link Between Compulsory Voting and Invalid Balloting
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *