How quorum rules distort referendum outcomes: Evidence from a pivotal voter model
In many jurisdictions, whether referendum results are binding depends on legally defined quorum requirements. We use a pivotal voter model to examine the consequences of such requirements. We find that, although quorum rules differ in consequences, a status quo bias that is usually attributed need not be present and that quorum rules may work against the status quo. The rules can also both favor minorities and reduce voter turnout. Because quorum rules can create situations in which the secrecy of the vote is compromised, the door is opened to undemocratic forms of social and political pressure.
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