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Election-Day Registration and Turnout Inequality

Abstract

Many researchers blame voter registration requirements for inequalities in turnout rates across various groups in U.S. society. The number of states with election-day registration (EDR) of voters doubled between the 1990 and 1994 elections, providing a unique opportunity to examine its impact on turnout inequality across demographic groups. The adoption of EDR is found to be associated with large and significant improvements in the turnout rates of young persons relative to older persons, and of recent movers relative to nonmovers. Turnout inequality by income class also declines with EDR adoption, but not by a significant amount in multivariate tests. The adoption of EDR does not improve equality of representation across educational levels.

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Knack, S., White, J. Election-Day Registration and Turnout Inequality. Political Behavior 22, 29–44 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1006638400784

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Keywords

  • Educational Level
  • Young Person
  • Demographic Group
  • Multivariate Test
  • Income Class