Jury Service and Electoral Participation: A Test of the Participation Hypothesis
University of Washington
E. Pierre Deess
New Jersey Institute of Technology
University of Colorado Law School
Washington Senate Republican Caucus
March 31, 2007
The participation hypothesis holds that when people undertake one civic activity, their likelihood of future political participation increases. This paper reports on three original studies that test this hypothesis by linking the non-voluntary, institutionalized activity of jury deliberation with future electoral participation. First, twelve in-depth interviews with recent jurors demonstrate that people can conceptualize jury deliberation and voting as related responsibilities. Second, a national study of court and voting records demonstrates that criminal jury deliberation experience can significantly increase turnout rates among previously infrequent voters. Third, a survey of jurors demonstrates that both one's objective and subjective experience of jury deliberation influences future voting rates.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 41
Keywords: jury service, political participation
JEL Classification: K40working papers series
Date posted: April 3, 2007
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