How Electoral Institutions Affect Political Accountability: Evidence from All-Mail Elections
A central question in the study of democratic governance concerns the conditions under which voters make informed choices at the ballot box. I exploit the staggered implementation of an electoral reform in a U.S. state to study the effects of electoral institutions on voter information and political accountability. I find that all-mail elections cause an increase in turnout in municipal elections and a decrease in ballot roll-off on statewide ballot measures in presidential election years in some counties, which is largely consistent with my argument that voters gather more information about politics when voting by mail. Further, there is strong evidence that vote-by-mail results in a decrease in taxing and spending in municipalities. The institution has less conclusive effects on municipal accountability audit outcomes. Using data from the Catalist voter file I show that these results cannot be explained by changes in the composition of the electorate caused by vote-by-mail.
best practices in action drop boxes equity
state by state transitions to vbm turnout
state by state turnout
accountability transitions to vbm turnout
best practices in action transitions to vbm turnout
The Senate plans to vote on #TheFreedomToVoteAct this week. If passed it will provide voters with ... more #VoteAtHome options such as drop boxes, no-excuse absentee ballot access for federal elections, and automatic voter registration.