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The impact of postal voting on participation: evidence for Switzerland


Luechinger, Simon; Rosinger, Myra; Stutzer, Alois (2007). The impact of postal voting on participation: evidence for Switzerland. Swiss Political Science Review, 13(2):167-202.

Abstract

Many countries are forging ahead with convenient balloting methods, in particular electronic and postal voting, in order to re-engage voters. In this paper, we test whether the cost reductions with postal voting increase turnout. The empirical analysis is based on a newly collected data set on the introduction of postal voting in Swiss cantons. We take advantage of the unique fact that voting by mail was introduced at different times across cantons. This allows identifying the impact of postal voting on turnout, independent of time, issue and canton specific effects. The estimated average effect on turnout is roughly 4.1 percentage points for an average turnout of 43 percent between 1970 and 2005.

Many countries are forging ahead with convenient balloting methods, in particular electronic and postal voting, in order to re-engage voters. In this paper, we test whether the cost reductions with postal voting increase turnout. The empirical analysis is based on a newly collected data set on the introduction of postal voting in Swiss cantons. We take advantage of the unique fact that voting by mail was introduced at different times across cantons. This allows identifying the impact of postal voting on turnout, independent of time, issue and canton specific effects. The estimated average effect on turnout is roughly 4.1 percentage points for an average turnout of 43 percent between 1970 and 2005.

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7 citations in Web of Science®
12 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2007
Deposited On:27 May 2008 12:08
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:23
Publisher:Swiss Political Science Association
ISSN:1424-7755
Publisher DOI:10.1002/j.1662-6370.2007.tb00075.x
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-2517

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