The Impact of State Party Organization on the Voting Experience
19 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 31 Jul 2010
Date Written: 2010
Nowhere in the U.S. is federalism more evident than in the administration of elections, as the Constitution and historical practice leave this largely in the hands of the states (and even counties within states). Consequently, voters across jurisdictions are likely to have different experiences at the polls. We examine the impact of state party organization, as described by Mayhew, on the frequency of partisan vs. non-partisan elections, the number of ballot propositions, and other election characteristics; on administrative issues such as ballot layout, voting system type, and voting method; and on public evaluations of the voting experience and election reform. Using a national survey of 2,000 individuals combined with information about ballots and voting systems, we find that state party organizations and cultures have a significant impact on numerous aspects of voting.
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