Abstention in Elections with Asymmetric Information and Diverse Preferences
We analyze a model of a two-candidate election in which voters have asymmetric information and diverse preferences. Voters may costlessly choose to either vote for one of the candidates or abstain. We demonstrate that a strictly positive fraction of the electorate will abstain and, nevertheless, elections effectively aggregate voter's private information. The model also provides an explanation for observed patterns of participation and partisanship.
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