Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1643448
 
 

References (61)



 


 



When Does Ballot Language Influence Voter Choices? Evidence from a Survey Experiment


Craig M. Burnett


University of North Carolina (UNC) at Wilmington

Vladimir Kogan


Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Political Science

December 16, 2013

APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper; Forthcoming at Political Communication

Abstract:     
Under what conditions can political elites influence elections to favor their preferred policy outcomes by strategically crafting the language printed on the ballot? Drawing on psychological and political theories of voter cognition, we design a survey experiment to assess the degree to which ballot text can influence voter behavior in direct democracy elections and identify factors that may moderate such effects. We show that the language used to describe a ballot measure does indeed have the potential to affect election outcomes, including measures dealing with contentious social issues affecting individual rights. We also find, however, that exposing individuals to basic campaign information — in our case, endorsements from prominent interest groups — greatly attenuates the framing effects of ballot text. Our results suggest that the extent to which ballot text matters depends on the vibrancy of the campaign environment and other information available to voters.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 36

Keywords: Direct democracy, framing, initiatives, referenda, ballot wording, Proposition 8, campaigns, election law

working papers series





Download This Paper

Date posted: July 19, 2010 ; Last revised: July 22, 2014

Suggested Citation

Burnett, Craig M. and Kogan, Vladimir, When Does Ballot Language Influence Voter Choices? Evidence from a Survey Experiment (December 16, 2013). APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper; Forthcoming at Political Communication. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1643448

Contact Information

Craig M. Burnett (Contact Author)
University of North Carolina (UNC) at Wilmington ( email )
601 South College Road
Wilmington, NC 28403
United States
910-962-2161 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://people.uncw.edu/burnettc/
Vladimir Kogan
Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Political Science ( email )
Columbus, OH 43210
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 963
Downloads: 155
Download Rank: 115,617
References:  61

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo4 in 0.328 seconds