Does changing the rules change the players? The effect of all-mail elections on the composition of the electorate

Citation
P. Southwell et J. Burchett, Does changing the rules change the players? The effect of all-mail elections on the composition of the electorate, SOC SCI Q, 81(3), 2000, pp. 837-845
Citations number
22
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Sociology & Antropology
Journal title
SOCIAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY
ISSN journal
0038-4941 → ACNP
Volume
81
Issue
3
Year of publication
2000
Pages
837 - 845
Database
ISI
SICI code
0038-4941(200009)81:3<837:DCTRCT>2.0.ZU;2-Z
Abstract
Objective. The all-mail format of the 1996 special Senate election in the s tate of Oregon provides an opportunity to test previous assumptions about t he effect of elevated voter turnout on the composition of the electorate, a s well as reexamine the conventional wisdom regarding Republican advantage among absentee voters. Methods. This research involves multivariate analysi s of 1996 data obtained from a telephone survey conducted immediately follo wing this special election. Results. This analysis reveals that "vote-by-ma il" voters in Oregon differed only slightly from "traditional" voters who w ent to the polls in previous elections-they were older, more urban, and les s partisan. Vote-by-mail voters were as informed, educated, and involved as traditional voters. Additionally, vote-by-mail voters were similar demogra phically to registered nonvoters but were better educated, and informed abo ut politics. Conclusions. In some manner, all-mail elections provide a meth od of converting peripheral voters into core voters even in low-stimulus co ntests.