The costs of voting: barriers to voting among young, low-socioeconomic and migrant voters in New Zealand and Sweden

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dc.contributor.advisor Curtin, J en Galicki, Celestyna en 2019-02-14T22:09:21Z en 2018 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description.abstract Governments in a number of established democracies have introduced changes in election administration procedures in the hope of raising turnout by reducing the cost of voting. The hypothesis that underpins these changes is that election administration processes may exacerbate the inability of some eligible voters to vote by making it too difficult, costly or inconvenient. Such an exacerbation of costs of voting can happen unintentionally, as a result of institutional drift; that is, changes in the environment without a corresponding change in procedures. However, the results of these convenience voting initiatives, as measured by the changes in voter turnout, have been mixed at best. One possible reason is that the reforms do not address the actual costs of voting. Despite a vast body of literature that demonstrates that some electoral procedures are related to decreased voter turnout, there has been limited qualitative research on the causal mechanisms of costs of voting and the relative importance of these costs. This thesis seeks to examine how voters experience the costs of voting, what institutional arrangements exacerbate and ameliorate these costs and why. It does this by conducting a qualitative comparative study of New Zealand and Sweden, using interviews with election officials and focus groups with voters from groups that, in many jurisdictions, exhibit lower voter turnout than average: young people, people from a low-socioeconomic background and people who have migrated from countries with a different political system. Data from the qualitative research are then used as a basis for the choice of variables included in a composite indicator of costs of voting, which facilitates comparison of costs of voting between countries. The results of the study suggest that the 'traditional' costs of time and money that are the focus of much of the scholarly literature (and convenience voting initiatives) are not the most important in the context of a developed democracy. Rather, less tangible costs such as access to information, risk and emotional/identity costs are more important. Subsequently, this thesis argues for broadening the scholarship on costs of voting and the directions of convenience voting reforms. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99265149913702091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
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dc.title The costs of voting: barriers to voting among young, low-socioeconomic and migrant voters in New Zealand and Sweden en
dc.type Thesis en Politics and International Relations en The University of Auckland en Doctoral en PhD en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.elements-id 761594 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2019-02-15 en

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