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Residential Mobility, Community Mobility, and Electoral Participation


This article investigates why Americans who move have lower voter turnout than those who stay put. Two hypotheses are drawn from the political science literature. One emphasizes the need to register at one's new address in order to vote. The other locates the cause of lower turnout in the disruption of social connections that results from moving. By distinguishing those who change residences within their communities from those who move outside of their communities, I test the hypotheses. The findings show that both types of moves affect turnout. However, changing residences appears to be more important than changing communitites. Thus it appears that the explanation for the relationship between moving and turnout derives more from the need to register after moving than the disruption of social ties.

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Highton, B. Residential Mobility, Community Mobility, and Electoral Participation. Political Behavior 22, 109–120 (2000).

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  • Science Literature
  • Political Science
  • Community Mobility
  • Lower Turnout
  • Social Connection