The Effect of the Secret Ballot on Voter Turnout Rates
Secrecy in the voting process eliminated an important motivation for voting. No longer able to verify the voters' choices, political parties stopped offering payments in return for votes. Within the rational voter framework, it will be shown that these payments were a prime impetus for people to vote. Without a vote market to cover their voting costs, many voters were rational to stay away from the polls. This hypothesis is supported through a series of empirical tests culminating in a multivariate legislative regression. When other electoral laws are controlled for, the secret ballot accounts for 7 percentage points lower gubernatorial turnout. Copyright 1995 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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