Compulsory voting, electoral integrity and democratic legitimacy

Sarah Birch

in Full Participation

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9780719077623
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701874 | DOI:
Compulsory voting, electoral integrity and democratic legitimacy

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This chapter considers the influence of compulsory voting on electoral integrity and the overall legitimacy of the political system. Reducing electoral abuse and improving electoral integrity were among the most important reasons for the introduction of compulsory attendance at the polls in many states. It is therefore worth considering whether making electoral participation mandatory improves the conduct of elections and thereby improves confidence in the political process. This chapter tests the hypothesis on the basis of case studies as well as aggregate data. It also considers whether mandatory voting enhances the legitimacy of the democratic process overall.

Keywords: compulsory voting; electoral integrity; political system; compulsory attendance; democratic process

Chapter.  8226 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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