Title

The Effect of Redistricting on Voter Turnout

Presenter Information

Bryn Hagfors

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

This presentation aims to address the subject of voter participation, particularly how it responds to the legislative redistricting process. Rational voter theory dictates that as cost of engaging in the political process rises, participation falls. One means of raising the costs associated with engaging in elections comes in the form of candidate recognition; if one does not recognize the candidates on the ballot, the costs of being an informed voter rise. In this context, the process of redistricting has the potential to disengage a large number of voters each election cycle, as it places new boundaries on legislative districts and changes the districts in which some people vote. Using regression analysis to test demographic and political data from elections between 1978 and 2004, this study will test the hypothesis that legislative redistricting leads to lower voter turnout rates. Adding another dimension to the academic conversation surrounding political participation, this analysis will point to whether the current system of redistricting does indeed disenfranchise voters, and if so will provide policy recommendations for addressing this issue.

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Apr 12th, 10:00 AM Apr 12th, 10:20 AM

The Effect of Redistricting on Voter Turnout

UC 326

This presentation aims to address the subject of voter participation, particularly how it responds to the legislative redistricting process. Rational voter theory dictates that as cost of engaging in the political process rises, participation falls. One means of raising the costs associated with engaging in elections comes in the form of candidate recognition; if one does not recognize the candidates on the ballot, the costs of being an informed voter rise. In this context, the process of redistricting has the potential to disengage a large number of voters each election cycle, as it places new boundaries on legislative districts and changes the districts in which some people vote. Using regression analysis to test demographic and political data from elections between 1978 and 2004, this study will test the hypothesis that legislative redistricting leads to lower voter turnout rates. Adding another dimension to the academic conversation surrounding political participation, this analysis will point to whether the current system of redistricting does indeed disenfranchise voters, and if so will provide policy recommendations for addressing this issue.