By Zoltan L. Hajnal
Even though there's a common trust that asymmetric voter turnout ends up in biased results in American democracy, current empirical exams have came upon few results. through supplying a scientific account of ways and the place turnout issues in neighborhood politics, this publication demanding situations a lot of what we all know approximately turnout in the United States this day. It demonstrates that low and asymmetric turnout, an element at play in such a lot American towns, results in sub-optimal results for racial and ethnic minorities. Low turnout leads to losses in mayoral elections, much less equitable racial and ethnic illustration on urban councils, and skewed spending guidelines. the significance of turnout confirms lengthy held suspicions concerning the under-representation of minorities and increases normative issues approximately neighborhood democracy. thankfully, this ebook deals an answer. research of neighborhood participation exhibits small switch to neighborhood election timing - a reform that's reasonably priced and comparatively effortless to enact- may perhaps dramatically extend neighborhood voter turnout.
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Additional info for America's Uneven Democracy: Race, Turnout, and Representation in City Politics
It begins by examining the range of reforms that have been advanced in the hope Introduction 17 of expanding participation in the political arena. It then focuses on the one aspect of the political arena that might be amenable to change, local electoral structure. Analysis of the relationship between local electoral institutions and voter turnout indicates that institutional reform offers a viable means for expanding participation in local elections. In the last chapter, I briefly review the main findings regarding turnout and minority representation, discuss some of the normative concerns related to efforts to expand turnout, and highlight the implications of continued growth in the Latino and Asian American populations and ongoing underparticipation of both groups.
Even if everyone voted, outcomes at the national level would be much the same. Another criticism has been that existing studies are underestimating turnout effects by relying on the expressed preferences of nonvoters. These studies ask nonvoters whom they would vote for or what policies they favor and assume that the expressed preferences are their true preferences. But as Lijphart (1997) has noted, it is not clear that nonvoters who are asked their policy opinions and partisan preferences on surveys have really thought about these questions.
The GSS does not have the same distribution of respondents across as many municipalities as the ACPS but it did ask about local voter turnout and it has questions on the same range of demographic characteristics. The basic patterns evident in the GSS data closely match the patterns illustrated here. 9 results were essentially the same (see Verba et al. 1995 for details on the sampling and weighting procedures). Finally, we repeated the analysis using a question on local voting in the General Social Survey.
America's Uneven Democracy: Race, Turnout, and Representation in City Politics by Zoltan L. Hajnal