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Incumbency preservation through electoral legislation: The case of the secret ballot

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Author Info

  • Jac C. Heckelman
  • Andrew J. Yates

Abstract

The secret ballot was designed to eliminate the incentive for candidates to purchase votes through direct vote buying. When voters have private information on their candidate preferences, incumbent candidates will generally be less efficient in purchasing votes than their challengers. Incumbent candidates may therefore benefit from the elimination of direct vote purchasing. Viewed in this vein, passage of secret ballot laws by state legislatures can be seen as an institutional mechanism to protect their incumbency advantage, rather than as an act of necessary electoral reform to create fair elections and protect democracy. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s101010000020
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Economics of Governance.

Volume (Year): 3 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 (03)
Pages: 47-57

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Handle: RePEc:spr:ecogov:v:3:y:2002:i:1:p:47-57

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Web page: http://link.springer.de/link/service/journals/10101/index.htm

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Related research

Keywords: Key words: Secret ballot; vote market; incumbency advantage; JEL Classification: D72;

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Cited by:
  1. Alan S. Gerber & Gregory A. Huber & David Doherty & Conor M. Dowling & Seth J. Hill, 2011. "Do Perceptions of Ballot Secrecy Influence Turnout? Results from a Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 17673, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Aidt, T.S. & Jensen, P.S., 2012. "From Open to Secret Ballot: Vote Buying and Modernization," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1221, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.

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