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Article
Does Electoral Reform Increase (or Decrease) Political Equality?
Forthcoming in Political Research Quarterly (2010)
  • Elizabeth Rigby, University of Houston - Main
  • Melanie J. Springer
Abstract

Over recent decades, the American states have implemented electoral reforms making it easier for citizens to register and vote. This paper examines the “equality effects” of these reforms: the degree to which reform serves to equalize or further skew participation rates between the rich and poor. Using the Voter Supplement to the Current Population Survey, we generate state-level estimates of income bias in registration and voting for elections from 1978-2008. Findings support our theory that some electoral reforms promote equality, while others further stratify the electorate—particularly when state registration rolls are already unrepresentative in terms of income groups.

Publication Date
2010
Citation Information
Elizabeth Rigby and Melanie J. Springer. "Does Electoral Reform Increase (or Decrease) Political Equality?" Forthcoming in Political Research Quarterly (2010)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/elizabeth_rigby/9/