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Cambridge University Press
Discount Voting: Voter Registration Reforms and their Effects

Discount Voting: Voter Registration Reforms and their Effects

by Michael J. Hanmer


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Discount Voting: Voter Registration Reforms and their Effects

In the U.S., there is wide variation from state to state in the institutional arrangements - for example, registration laws - that structure the environment in which citizens decide whether to vote and parties decide whom to mobilize. This has important consequences for who gets elected and the policies they enact. Hanmer argues that to understand how these institutional arrangements affect outcomes, it is necessary to consider the interactions between social and political context and these laws. He tests this theory by examining how the factors that influence the adoption of a set of registration laws affect turnout, the composition of the electorate, and party strategies. His multi-method research design demonstrates that the effect of registration laws is not as profound as either reformers would hope or previous studies suggest, especially when reform is a response to federal legislation. He concludes by arguing for a shift in the approach to increasing turnout.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521112659
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 08/17/2009
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Michael J. Hanmer joined the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland as an assistant professor in the fall of 2007. He is also a Research Fellow with the University of Maryland's Center for American Politics and Citizenship. Hanmer is a co-author of Voting Technology: The Not-So-Simple Act of Casting a Ballot (2008). He has published articles on electoral reform, voting technology, and the over-reporting of voting in surveys and is listed as an expert in election issues by the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project.

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Motivation and a new theoretical framework; 2. The purposeful adoption of election day registration; 3. Election day registration by choice and by federal mandate; 4. Motor voter by choice and by federal mandate; 5. Registration and voting in the post NVRA era; 6. Election reform and the composition of the electorate; 7. EDR on the ground and prospects for the future; Appendices.

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