Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Election-day registration and turnout inequality

Knack, Stephen and James, White (2000): Election-day registration and turnout inequality. Published in: Political Behavior , Vol. 22, No. 1 (March 2000): pp. 29-44.

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Many researchers blame voter registration requirements for inequalities in turnout rates across various groups in American 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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