How hard can it be: do citizens think it is difficult to register to vote?

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Publication Type Working Paper
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Political Science
Creator Hall, Thad
Other Author Alvarez, R. Michael; Llewellyn, Morgan
Title How hard can it be: do citizens think it is difficult to register to vote?
Date 2006-08-31
Description Political equality is seen as an intrinsic normative principle for the adequate functioning of a democratic republic. However, it is well documented that in the United States there are many qualified citizens who do not vote, many who do not participate in the political process due to procedural barriers that make it difficult or impossible for them to register and vote. Despite this, there is debate in the research literature about whether additional procedural reforms that seek to make the voter registration process easier will lead to substantial increases in voter participation in elections in the United States. While we do not enter into that research debate, we examine a related question: what are the perceptions of the American public about how hard or easy it is to register to vote in their state? Our assumption is that future reforms that seek to make the voter registration process easier will need substantial public support, and thus it is important to understand public perceptions regarding the usability of the voter registration process. Our research, based on a randomly-selected sample of American adults interviewed by telephone in January 2006, indicates that some think it is difficult to register in their state, as 10% of survey respondents stated that the voter registration process in their state was difficult. This implies that an estimated 21 million American adults believe that the voter registration process is difficult in their state. We see also that younger voters, those who are not registered to vote, and political independents are especially likely to believe that the voter registration process is difficult in their state. We focus on younger voters in our analysis reported below because they are one group that research has shown is affected by voter registration procedures.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Volume 2
First Page 1
Last Page 40
Subject Voting, United States; Voters; Non-voters
Subject LCSH Voter registration; Voting
Language eng
Bibliographic Citation Alvarez, R. M., Hall, T., & Llewellyn, M. (2006). How Hard Can It Be: Do Citizens Think It Is Difficult To Register To Vote? Institute of Public & International Affairs, 2, 1-40.
Series Institute of Public and International Affairs Working Papers
Rights Management (c) R. Michael Alvarez, Thad E. Hall and Morgan Llewellyn
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 195,412 Bytes
Identifier ir-main,822
ARK ark:/87278/s6tq6k1z
Setname ir_uspace
Date Created 2012-06-13
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 705433
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6tq6k1z
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