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Abstract

Several studies suggest that people suffering from ill health or disabilities have a lower propensity to vote. Using six rounds of the European Social Survey, we examine whether the effect of health or functional disabilities on electoral participation is less or more pronounced in countries which utilize a wider range of facilitation instruments, such as advance or postal voting, proxy voting and voting outside the polling stations. Our findings show that with the exception of proxy voting, voter facilitation instruments not only have insignificant main effects but also a negative interaction effect with poor health/functional ability (FA). As a result, voter facilitation intensifies the health-related differences but not by activating those who are more active to begin with, as suggested in previous studies. The endogeneity argument thus seems most warranted explanation for our findings: countries with low turnout among people with impaired FA or health are more likely to adapt facilitation practices.

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... Schur, Ameri, and Adya 2017). The barriers include, among others: voter registration requirements (FRA 2014, 41-42;Lord, Stein, and Fiala-Butora 2014); legal restrictions on the right to vote for individuals who have been deprived of their legal capacity (FRA 2014, 39-41;Priestley et al. 2016); lack of alternative voting methods such as postal voting, proxy voting, or voting at one's place of residence (FRA 2014, 42-43;Lord, Stein, and Fiala-Butora 2014;Matsubayashi and Ueda 2014;Miller and Powell 2016;Priestley et al. 2016;Wass et al. 2017); lack of training and guidance on how to vote for individuals with learning disabilities (Agran et al. 2020;Redley 2008;Willis et al. 2016); lack of requirements to provide voting assistance to individuals with disabilities (FRA 2014, 50-51); lack of requirements to train election officials in non-discrimination (FRA 2014, 51-52;Lord, Stein, and Fiala-Butora 2014;Priestley et al. 2016); inaccessible election information (FRA 2014, 44-47, 74-81;Jaeger 2004;Lord, Stein, and Fiala-Butora 2014;Priestley et al. 2016); inaccessible polling places and lack of legal standards regarding polling place accessibility (FRA 2014, 49-50;Lord, Stein, and Fiala-Butora 2014;Priestley et al. 2016;Schur, Ameri, and Adya 2017); and inaccessible voting and information technologies (Jaeger 2004;Miller and Powell 2016;Schur, Ameri, and Adya 2017). ...
... For example, Miller and Powell (2016) found that individuals with disabilities are significantly more likely to vote by mail than individuals without disabilities, while Matsubayashi and Ueda (2014) found that individuals with disabilities are more likely to vote by mail than at a polling place. However, Wass et al. (2017) showed that, except for proxy voting, access to alternative voting methods did not increase the predicted probabilities of voting for individuals with disabilities. Hence, the effect of access to alternative voting methods on disability voter turnout is not completely clear. ...
... The period 2006-2016 was chosen because it allowed for an analysis of how the disability gap developed in the EU after the United Nations General Assembly adopted the CRPD in 2006. The ESS is suited for analysis of the disability gap in voter turnout because it includes questions about disability and health status as well as voting behavior (Wass et al. 2017). Furthermore, the ESS is a cross-European survey that has been conducted every two years since 2001 and hence offers the opportunity to track the disability gap over time by use of a large amount of data. ...
Article
It is known that people with disabilities encounter barriers to participation in national elections. These barriers often lead to differences in voter turnout between people with disabilities and those without (referred to as the disability gap). This study analyzed the disability gap in national elections between 2006 and 2016 in 24 European Union countries. Further, it analyzed the association between voter turnout and national levels of election information accessibility. Data from the European Social Survey and the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency were used. While the disability gap varied across countries and years, the average gap increased from 3.45 percent in 2006 to 8.38 percent in 2016 and remained statistically significant when controlling for potential confounders. Further, voter turnout was found to be positively related to the accessibility of information. These findings underline the need for more research on how to close the disability gap in voter turnout. • Points of interest • This study reports that, in many European countries, people with disabilities are less likely to vote in national elections than people without disabilities. • The study found that this difference in voter turnout increased from 2006 to 2016. • The difference exists because individuals with disabilities face barriers to voting not faced by individuals without disabilities. • Information about elections is, for example, often provided in standard formats that are inaccessible to individuals with disabilities. Information about elections includes information about the timing and location of elections as well as information on candidate positions. • The study found that individuals with disabilities are more likely to vote in countries where election information is provided in accessible formats than in countries where it is provided in standard, non-accessible formats. Accessible formats include those that use easy-to-read layouts, large print, tactile writing systems, and read-aloud systems.
... Poor physical or mental health may limit one's resources, such as education or income, and can lower both the motivation and abilities to follow and engage in day-to-day politics. The relationship between health and political involvement has recently received increased attention Doyle, 2007a, 2007b;Gollust and Rahn, 2015;Mattila et al., 2013;Pacheco and Fletcher, 2015;Reher, 2018;Söderlund and Rapeli, 2015;Wass et al., 2017). Poor health can, for example, reduce the likelihood of voting in an election by up to 10 percentage points (Mattila et al., 2013;Schur and Kruse, 2000). ...
... To empirically assess the relationships between self-rated health and political efficacy as well as the potential moderating impact of the welfare state, we rely on 2014 and 2016 European Social Survey (ESS) data. In addressing our two research questions, we add to a growing body of research examining the relationship between health and political engagement in a broad comparative framework (Mattila and Papageorgiou, 2016;Mattila et al., 2013;Wass et al., 2017). The bulk of the literature tends to focus on single countries or small groups of countries, in particular the United States (Hassell and Settle, 2017;Pacheco and Fletcher, 2015;Schur and Kruse, 2000;Schur et al., 2017) or the Northern European countries Söderlund and Rapeli, 2015;Sund et al., 2017). ...
... Traditional explanations of political participation center on, for example, socioeconomic resources and demographic factors (Brady et al., 1995;Smets and Van Ham Carolien, 2013;Wolfinger and Rosenstone, 1980) or feelings of deprivation and unequal treatment (Runciman, 1972;Taylor et al., 1987). Recent studies added to this list by identifying health as a further important factor influencing political involvement, in particular voting (among others, Denny and Doyle, 2007a;Gollust and Rahn, 2015;Mattila et al., 2013Pacheco and Fletcher, 2015;Reher, 2018;Stockemer and Rapp, 2019;Wass et al., 2017). ...
Article
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Health affects nearly all facets of our lives, including the likelihood of getting involved in politics. Focusing on political efficacy, we zoom in on one potential mechanism as to why people in poor health might, for example, stay at home on Election Day. We first look at the ways in which health is related to both people’s perceptions of their abilities to take part in politics (internal political efficacy) as well as the extent to which they believe policymakers are responsive to citizen needs (external political efficacy). Second, we examine how the social policy context intervenes in the relationship between health and political efficacy. Multilevel models using 2014 and 2016 European Social Survey data on roughly 57,000 respondents nested in 21 European countries reveal complex results: while good health, rather unsurprisingly, fosters internal and external political efficacy, more generous welfare states, though associated with higher levels of political efficacy, are not a panacea for remedying political inequalities stemming from individual health differences.
... These instruments, often grouped under the umbrella of convenience voting, range from voting in advance and various forms of absentee voting (postal, online, and proxy voting) to assisted voting and voting at home and in hospitals and other healthcare institutions. While most democracies have implemented at least some form of voter facilitation, substantial cross-country differences exist (see e.g., Wass et al., 2017). Depending on their electoral legislation, countries had various toolkits of voter facilitation instruments at their disposal in the beginning of the pandemic. ...
... This reflects the inherent paradox of facilitation. If a given facilitation instrument is targeted to all potential voters, it typically does not lead to an evenly distributed boost in participation but, instead, intensifies the socioeconomic bias in turnout by mobilizing those groups that were more active originally (for a summary, see Galicki, 2017;Wass et al., 2017). In such cases, an increase in disparities in participation between different groups in society can either be an unforeseen or an anticipated (but accepted as a risk) indirect consequence of the reform, leading to a trade-off between turnout and equality. ...
... However, that leads to a different type of trade-off in which participation among certain groups is facilitated at the expense of equal voting opportunities (cf. Wass et al., 2017). ...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that the traditional “booth, ballot, and pen” model of voting, based on a specific location and physical presence, may not be feasible during a health crisis. This situation has highlighted the need to assess whether existing national electoral legislation includes enough instruments to ensure citizens’ safety during voting procedures, even under the conditions of a global pandemic. Such instruments, often grouped under the umbrella of voter facilitation or convenience voting, range from voting in advance and various forms of absentee voting (postal, online, and proxy voting) to assisted voting and voting at home and in hospitals and other healthcare institutions. While most democracies have implemented at least some form of voter facilitation, substantial cross-country differences still exist. In the push to develop pandemic-sustainable elections in different institutional and political contexts, variation in voter facilitation makes it possible to learn from country-specific experiences. As accessibility and inclusiveness are critical components of elections for ensuring political legitimacy and accountability these lessons are of utmost importance. In this study, we focus on Finland, where the Parliament decided in March 2021 to postpone for two months the municipal elections that were originally scheduled to be held on April 18. Although the decision was mostly justified by the sudden and dramatic daily increase in new COVID-19 infections, the inability to guarantee the opportunity to vote for those in quarantine was included among the likely risks. The failure to organize health-safe voting procedures to accommodate the original schedule emphasizes a certain paradox in the Finnish electoral legislation: caution in introducing new facilitation instruments has led to lower levels of preparedness and flexibility in crisis situations. Although a forerunner in implementing extensive advance voting opportunities, Finland has only recently introduced postal voting, which is restricted to voters living abroad. Hence, we ask: what can be learned from this form of convenience voting if expanded to all voters to enhance the sustainability of elections? Our analyses are based on a survey conducted among non-resident voters (n = 2,100) after the 2019 parliamentary elections in which postal voting from abroad was allowed for the first time. Our results show that whereas trust in the integrity of postal voting is quite high, various efforts needed from individual voters substantially increase the costs of postal voting. Postal operations also raise concerns. Furthermore, voters felt that requiring two witnesses made postal voting cumbersome, an issue that needs to be resolved, particularly if applying postal voting in the context of a pandemic. The Finnish case constitutes a concrete example of a situation in which voter facilitation targeted to a particular segment of society may become a testbed for electoral engineering that will improve voting opportunities for everyone.
... Two key indicators of engagement are electoral participation and psychological engagement in the form of political interest, which is an important predictor of turnout (Campbell et al. 1960). Research from the US (Miller and Powell 2016;Schur and Adya 2013;Schur and Kruse 2000;Schur et al. 2002Schur et al. , 2005Shields et al. 1998) and Europe (Mattila and Papageorgiou 2017;Wass et al. 2017, including Finland (Mattila et al. 2017) and the UK (Clarke et al. 2006), has consistently shown that people with disabilities are less likely to register to vote and to turn out at the ballot box. Mental health issues as well as poor health more generally can also depress turnout (e.g., Denny and Doyle 2007;Mattila et al. 2013Ojeda 2017;Ojeda 2015;Pacheco and Fletcher 2015). ...
... Furthermore, various institutional factors, including voter facilitation instruments such as postal voting and accessible polling stations and ballot papers, might increase not only turnout but also efficacy and political trust (Opokua et al. 2016). Although Wass et al. (2017) did not find that they increased turnout among voters with disabilities, Schur and Adya (2013) and Miller and Powell (2016) found positive relationships between disability and mail voting. Public services and benefits might also increase feelings of political empowerment and engagement, although this likely depends on whether they are designed to help people gain independence and participate fully in society or function as welfare schemes. ...
Article
Full-text available
People with disabilities constitute one of the largest minority groups in Europe, and yet our knowledge about how they relate to the political system remains limited. In addition to facing practical barriers such as inaccessible campaign material and polling stations, they often have fewer resources that facilitate and promote confidence and engagement in politics. Moreover, experiences of discrimination and low numbers of politicians with disabilities can generate feelings of disempowerment. Using European Social Survey data from 30 countries from 2002 to 2015, this study shows that people with disabilities have lower levels of internal and external efficacy, political trust and interest, and electoral participation. The disparities in internal efficacy and political interest disappear when accounting for education, income, employment, and social contact. Meanwhile, significant gaps in external efficacy, political trust, and turnout remain to be explained. Perceptions of discrimination strengthen the internal efficacy and political interest of citizens with disabilities but further decrease their external efficacy, political trust, and turnout. The study sheds light on a frequently overlooked dimension of political inequality, provides insights on several contributing factors, and highlights where further research is needed.
... Voting is a matter of habit and tradition. Individuals vote because it is ingrained in them from previous behaviours and the way they vote is similarly affected (Blais et al., 2007;Kersting, 2007;Rojas and Müller, 2014;Weil, 2017;Wass et al., 2017;Heinmaa and Kalandadze, 2021). Therefore, to evaluate the impact of early voting arrangements on the likelihood to vote, it is important to understand: ...
... A comparative study of European countries found that countries with lower levels of health are more likely to implement convenience voting measures, including early voting. The study presented data issues, with no conclusive results regarding whether people with self-reported ill-health use early voting more often than those in good health (Wass et al., 2017). Disabled people in the United States vote at lower rates than people without disabilities, but rates increase in states where it is easier to vote by post (Miller and Powell, 2016). ...
Technical Report
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Elections were devolved to Wales through the Government of Wales Act 2017. Since then, Welsh Ministers have embarked on a programme of electoral reform most noted by the Senedd and Elections (Wales) Act 2020 and the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021. These extended the franchise to 16- and 17-year-olds and qualifying foreign citizens for Senedd and local government elections, and provided the legislative framework for future electoral reform, particularly around automatic registration and the optional use of a different electoral system (Single Transferable Voting) at local government elections. In line with an ongoing agenda to ensure that elections in Wales are as accessible as possible, the Wales Centre for Public Policy (WCPP) was asked to conduct research on the following four topics to ensure any future legislative developments are informed by robust evidence: 1. Early voting 2. Innovative electoral practices 3. Candidate and agent safety 4. Campaign finances and spending Changes to electoral administration have the potential to be as impactful as changes to the electoral system on issues such as voter inclusivity, turnout, and concerns about the reliability of electoral processes. This report draws on international evidence (including academic and grey literature) to consider how elections could be effectively reformed in Wales. Over 300 individual pieces of research were analysed.
... Previous work has demonstrated that health is associated with the likelihood of participating in the political system in various ways, such as voting, signing petitions, and engaging with elected officials (Denny and Doyle, 2007;Mattila et al., 2013;Matsubayashi and Ueda, 2014;Gollust and Rahn, 2015;Ojeda, 2015;Pacheco and Fletcher, 2015;Burden et al., 2017;Couture and Breux, 2017;Hassell and Settle, 2017;Lahtinen et al., 2017;Wass et al., 2017;Brown et al., 2020). Poor health and chronic conditions have been associated with differential likelihood of turning out to vote in the United States and globally (Denny and Doyle, 2007;Mattila et al., 2013;Gollust and Rahn, 2015;Pacheco and Fletcher, 2015;Sund et al., 2016;Burden et al., 2017;Wass et al., 2017;Gagné et al., 2019). ...
... Previous work has demonstrated that health is associated with the likelihood of participating in the political system in various ways, such as voting, signing petitions, and engaging with elected officials (Denny and Doyle, 2007;Mattila et al., 2013;Matsubayashi and Ueda, 2014;Gollust and Rahn, 2015;Ojeda, 2015;Pacheco and Fletcher, 2015;Burden et al., 2017;Couture and Breux, 2017;Hassell and Settle, 2017;Lahtinen et al., 2017;Wass et al., 2017;Brown et al., 2020). Poor health and chronic conditions have been associated with differential likelihood of turning out to vote in the United States and globally (Denny and Doyle, 2007;Mattila et al., 2013;Gollust and Rahn, 2015;Pacheco and Fletcher, 2015;Sund et al., 2016;Burden et al., 2017;Wass et al., 2017;Gagné et al., 2019). For example, lower self-rated health has been associated with lower propensity to turnout to vote (Denny and Doyle, 2007;Mattila et al., 2013;Pacheco and Fletcher, 2015;Gagné et al., 2019), while cancer diagnosis has been associated with a higher likelihood of voting (Gollust and Rahn, 2015;Sund et al., 2016). ...
Article
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Objective: The purpose of this study is to identify health resources associated with propensity to vote at the local-level among low-wage workers in two United States. cities. Literature confirms individuals of lower income have a lower propensity of turning out to vote, yet few studies have focused on low-income populations to identify the variation in factors associated with voting within this group. Furthermore, few studies have investigated health and voter turnout at the local-level. In this study, we examine factors related to political participation at the local-level within a low-wage sample, examine mental, physical, behavioral, and social health and their association with voter turnout, and assess if these relationships differ by city. Methods: We use cross-sectional survey data from a sample of 974 low-wage workers in Minneapolis, MN and Raleigh, NC. We computed descriptive statistics and employed a logistic regression to predict their likelihood of local voter turnout, with the key independent variables being health resources, such as self-rated health, body mass index (BMI), mental disability, smoking status, and health insurance status. We employed a logistic regression fully interacted with a city indicator variable to assess if these associations differed by city. Results: In both cities, less than 50 percent of respondents reported voting in the last election for mayor or city council. About three-quarters of the sample reported food or housing insecurity and the majority of respondents reported utilizing some government assistance, such as supplemental nutrition programs. BMI greater than 30 was significantly associated with lower likelihood of voter turnout compared to those of lower BMI status (marginal effect = −0.10, p = 0.026). Never smoking or quitting was significantly associated with higher likelihood of voter turnout compared to those who reported being a current smoker (marginal effect = 0.10, p = 0.002). Those with health insurance were significantly more likely to report voting compared to those without any insurance (marginal effect = 0.10, p = 0.022). These results did not significantly differ by city. Conclusions: Our research suggests low-wage workers face significant health burdens which may impact their propensity to vote at the local-level, and these associations do not significantly vary by city despite demographic and political differences between two jurisdictions.
... In other European studies, the availability of proxy voting has been associated with improved turnout among ill voters. 5 Flexible voting options are key tools in preventing disenfranchisement due to medical illnesses, both acute and chronic. Only the broad availability of absentee ballots in North Carolina allowed Ms A to vote. ...
... Within the healthcare setting, Wass et al. found that proxy voting as a voter facilitator instrument can increase voter turnout for those suffering from ill health or disability [47]. Hassell and Settle ran an interventional study that induced life stressors on patients and found that increasing stress decreased likelihood to vote for typical nonvoters [44]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: In democracies, voting is an important action through which citizens engage in the political process. Although elections are only one aspect of political engagement, voting sends a signal of support or dissent for policies that ultimately shape the social determinants of health. Social determinants subsequently influence who votes and who does not. Our objective is to examine the existing research on voting and health and on interventions to increase voter participation through healthcare organizations. Methods: We conducted a scoping review to examine the existing research on voting, health, and interventions to increase voter participation through healthcare organizations. We carried out a search of the indexed, peer-reviewed literature using Ovid MEDLINE (1946-present), PsychINFO (1806-present), Ebsco CINAHL, Embase (1947-present), Web of Science, ProQuest Sociological Abstracts, and Worldwide Political Science Abstracts. We limited our search to articles published in English. Titles and abstracts were reviewed, followed by a full-text review of eligible articles and data extraction. Articles were required to focus on the connection between voting and health, or report on interventions that occurred within healthcare organizations that aimed to improve voter engagement. Results: Our search identified 2041 citations, of which 40 articles met our inclusion criteria. Selected articles dated from 1991-2018 and were conducted primarily in Europe, the USA, and Canada. We identified four interrelated areas explored in the literature: (1) there is a consistency in the association between voting and health; (2) differences in voter participation are associated with health conditions; (3) gaps in voter participation may be associated with electoral outcomes; and (4) interventions in healthcare organizations can increase voter participation. Conclusion: Voting and health are associated, namely people with worse health tend to be less likely to engage in voting. Differences in voter participation due to social, economic, and health inequities have been shown to have large effects on electoral outcomes. Research gaps were identified in the following areas: long-term effects of voting on health, the effects of other forms of democratic engagement on health, and the broader impact that health providers and organizations can have on voting through interventions in their communities.
... . From a given threshold, as age increases, a concomitant escalation in C may happen, mainly because health worsens, so the physical effort involved in going to the polls will rise; and economic, cognitive and social resources fall (Wass et al. 2017). This suggests that age will have an initially negative effect upon C (due to the reduction of C I at younger ages) and a subsequent positive effect (insofar as it increases C A at older ages). ...
Article
https://doi.org/10.1080/17457289.2019.1658196 50 free copies here: https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/PN2UXSZHTXXH93JZ5RQ5/full?target=10.1080/17457289.2019.1658196 A more profound analysis of the variables in the voting equation is needed to improve our knowledge on voting. In this paper, we endogenize the costs of voting (C) and test several models with the help of the Making Electoral Democracy Work database, which contains information on C and its potential determinants for national elections in France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, and Canada. We test whether C is affected by socio-demographic and attitudinal factors related to: (a) informational costs, (b) the costs of the act of voting itself, and (c) those bound to lead to an ex-ante rationalization of C. By doing so, we contribute to bridging the rational choice and the sociological and psycho-sociological models of voting. We find strong evidence that the three types of factors have a statistical and substantive effect on C. In particular, C falls with party identification, education, union membership, years in the region where the elections are held, interest in politics and the importance attributed to elections, while it is higher for women and rural dwellers. Age shows a curvilinear relationship, initially reducing C and increasing it later. Contrary to expected, the presence of kids at home does not significantly increase C.
... Voting has been made easier with various facilitation arrangements put in place, such as advance voting, e-voting, postal voting, or proxy voting, but the results -in terms of encouraging turnout -vary and are not always as helpful as expected. Comparative results from Europe indicate that health gaps are not smaller in countries which have these kinds of voter facilitation practices; in fact, the situation seems to be quite the reverse [29]. The reason for this may be that when new measures are not directly targeted specifically at people with poor health (such as advance voting), these measures may motivate other voter groups even more than those with health issues. ...
Article
Full-text available
This review presents a short overview of the current state of research in the field of health, disability, and political engagement. I focus on the individual-level relationship between health and political behaviour or political attitudes. Most of the existing studies have analysed the effects of health or disability on electoral turnout, and almost all of these studies have found a negative association between poor health, disability, and turnout. The relationships between health and other forms of political participation are more complex; poor health and disability can actually promote certain types of participation (e.g., signing petitions or participation in social media). However, studies of political attitudes show that poor health and disability are connected to lower levels of trust and external political efficacy and that this disengagement may even lead, for example, to increased support for right-wing populist parties. In general, political actors and researchers need to be encouraged to implement new, more inclusive solutions to bridge the health and disability gaps in political engagement.
... Contextual factors could, nevertheless, also matter. Health policy ownership is not as clear between competing parties in all countries and cross-national differences in, for example, voting facilitation mechanisms might cause variation in the disruptive force of declining health (see also Wass et al., 2017). ...
Article
Turnout and party choice are widely held to be habitual, but little attention has been paid to factors that disrupt the pattern. Good health is an important determinant of political behaviour and a key component in the quality of life. Based on the developmental theory of turnout, we hypothesize that declining health lowers voting propensity over the life course. We employ issue ownership theory to assume that declining health increases the likelihood of voting for leftist parties. Using the British Household Panel Survey data, we show how deteriorating health significantly lowers the propensity to vote, but if a person in poor health votes, she is more likely to support Labour than the Conservatives. As expected by the developmental theory, major life events, such as declining health, affect voting propensity. Results also support issue ownership theory: declining health increases Labour voting which implies that British voters turn to the party that owns the health issue when the issue becomes salient.
... Finally, Wass et al. (2017) examined the effects of existing voter facilitation instruments. The researchers used six rounds of the European Social Survey data-approximately 240,000 individual-level observations from participants in 30 European countries between 2002 and 2013-to examine the relationship among voter turnout, self-reported health conditions (including functional ability), and voter facilitation instruments. ...
Article
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Katsauksessa kootaan yhteen terveyden vaikutuksesta poliittiseen kiinnittyneisyyteen tehtyjä tutkimustuloksia. Nämä ovat jaoteltu neljään osa-alueeseen: 1) terveyden yhteys poliittisen osallistumisen eri muotoihin, 2) terveyden yhteys arvoihin, asenteisiin, preferensseihin ja luottamukseen, 3) arvot ja asenteet välittäjinä terveyden vaikutuksessa poliittiseen osallistumiseen sekä 4) kontekstin vaikutus terveyden ja poliittisen kiinnittymisen väliseen yhteyteen. Terveyserot näyttäisivät olevan suurimmillaan äänestysaktiivisuudessa, mutta heikko terveys on yhteydessä myös matalampaan poliittiseen luottamukseen. Toisaalta sairaus, vamma tai muu terveysvaiva voi joissakin tapauksissa motivoida ihmisiä osallistumaan ja yhteyden suunta vaihtelee osallistumismuotojen, terveysongelmien ja eri kontekstien välillä. Tämä korostaa vertailevan tutkimusotteen ja erilaisten aineistotyyppien tarvetta.
Article
Mikko Mattila, Lauri Rapeli, Hanna Wass, and Peter Söderlund, Health and Political Engagement (New York: Routledge, 2018), 126 pages. ISBN: 9781138673809. Hardcover $140.00. - Volume 38 Issue 1 - Christopher Ojeda
Article
Recent research in political behaviour suggests that poor health can be an impediment for individuals to vote. At the same time, researchers argue that health may both hinder and reinforce other forms of political participation. With respect to these ambiguous expectations, our study asks: does the relationship between health and political involvement depend on how we measure health? We answer this question for two of the most widely used health indicators, self-reported health and being hampered by illness in daily activities. We use the European Social Survey (ESS) (N = 35,000) covering 20 European countries and find that the measurement of health indeed matters: our results illustrate that bad self-reported health is an impediment to voting, but not to other forms of political activity. When it comes to our second indicator, being hampered in daily activities, we also find a negative relationship with voting. Yet, our results also indicate that most individuals, who are hampered by illness in their daily lives, have a tendency to participate more regularly in most other forms of political activity, including boycotting, contacting a politician, or signing a petition. Robustness checks including waves 1–6 of the ESS support these findings.
Book
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Social scientists have only recently begun to explore the link between health and political engagement. Understanding this relationship is vitally important from both a scholarly and a policy-making perspective. This book is the first to offer a comprehensive account of health and political engagement. Using both individual-level and country-level data drawn from the European Social Survey, World Values Survey and new Finnish survey data, it provides an extensive analysis of how health and political engagement are connected. It measures the impact of various health factors on a wide range of forms of political engagement and attitudes and helps shed light on the mechanisms behind the interaction between health and political engagement. This text is of key interest scholars, students and policy-makers in health, politics, and democracy, and more broadly in the social and health and medical sciences.
Chapter
The importance of driving, voting, and sexual expression does not diminish with age. Cognitive functioning and health status play a significant role in predicting the ability of older adults to participate safely in these domains. Healthcare providers often find themselves in the challenging position of having to evaluate the capacity of individual to participate in activities of driving, voting, and sexual expression. Determining capacity to participate safely in these activities can require finding a balance between autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and risk, including protecting the cognitively impaired from dangerous or exploitative situations while also upholding their constitutional rights. Few guidelines exist regarding the assessment of capacity of older adults in these domains to help guide clinicians during the assessment.
Chapter
This review presents a short overview of the current state of research in the field of health, disability, and political engagement. I focus on the individual-level relationship between health and political behaviour or political attitudes. Most of the existing studies have analysed the effects of health or disability on electoral turnout, and almost all of these studies have found a negative association between poor health, disability, and turnout. The relationships between health and other forms of political participation are more complex; poor health and disability can actually promote certain types of participation (e.g., signing petitions or participation in social media). However, studies of political attitudes show that poor health and disability are connected to lower levels of trust and external political efficacy and that this disengagement may even lead, for example, to increased support for right-wing populist parties. In general, political actors and researchers need to be encouraged to implement new, more inclusive solutions to bridge the health and disability gaps in political engagement.
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Although people with disabilities are considerably less likely to vote than those without a disability, empirical explanations as to why remain underdeveloped. The present study investigates whether this discrepancy in turnout rates is directly related to voting procedures. Analyzing data from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, we assess the ways in which people with disabilities are disenfranchised by election administration barriers. Specifically, we identify how experiences with voter registration, voter identification regulations, and methods of ballot submission impact those with and without disabilities. Also considered is the degree to which disability affects one’s own political competence and political interest. Reflecting on these findings, we offer recommendations for reducing such electoral hurdles and providing pathways by which comprehensive political incorporation of all individuals with disabilities might be achieved.
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This article puts Down's instrumental voter model (IVM) to a formal test using data of the 2017 Chilean national elections. It aims at two novel exercises in the research in the calculus of voting. Using a brand-new questionnaire with indicators on instrumental and consumption motivations for voting, we reassess the voting equation in Santiago de Chile. Furthermore, we analyse whether instrumental and consumption motivations have distinctive effects for individuals with different socio-demographic characteristics. Our results show that they do: women, younger, lower educated, and unmarried citizens are more responsive to both instrumental and consumption motivations. Moreover, the factors of the IVM travel better to Santiago de Chile than those of the consumption model. Resumen Este artículo contrasta formalmente el modelo del votante instrumental de Downs empleando datos de las elecciones generales chilenas de 2017. Su objetivo es acometer dos ejercicios novedosos en la investigación sobre el cálculo del voto. Utilizando un cuestionario muy reciente con indicadores de las motivaciones instrumentales y de Journal of Politics in Latin America 12(1) 78 consumo para votar, examinamos la ecuación del voto en Santiago de Chile. Asimismo, analizamos si las motivaciones instrumentales y de consumo tienen efectos diferentes para individuos con distintas características socio-demográficas. Nuestros resultados demuestran que así es: las mujeres, los jóvenes, los menos educados y los que no están casados son más sensibles tanto a las motivaciones instrumentales como a las de con-sumo. Además, los factores del modelo del votante instrumental viajan mejor al caso chileno que los del modelo de consumo.
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This article puts Down’s instrumental voter model (IVM) to a formal test using data of the 2017 Chilean national elections. It aims at two novel exercises in the research in the calculus of voting. Using a brand-new questionnaire with indicators on instrumental and consumption motivations for voting, we reassess the voting equation in Santiago de Chile. Furthermore, we analyse whether instrumental and consumption motivations have distinctive effects for individuals with different socio-demographic characteristics. Our results show that they do: women, younger, lower educated, and unmarried citizens are more responsive to both instrumental and consumption motivations. Moreover, the factors of the IVM travel better to Santiago de Chile than those of the consumption model.
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This research explores the impact of health on voter turnout, with the goal of uncovering important variation in dynamics across rural communities. Drawing on the results of county and individual-level analyses, including novel survey data from an Appalachian community, this study finds that health matters less for rural voters. Models using county-level data indicate that poor health is significantly and negatively related to voter turnout across counties, even when controlling for educational attainment, poverty, diversity, and political competition. However, health loses its explanatory power in rural counties once a control for religiosity is introduced. Health is also a less important predictor in rural places where there is a high cost of voting, a finding counter to the notion that high costs would uniformly amplify the negative effects of health disparities. Models using individual-level data provide support for many of these findings, while also generating new insights into the complexity of rural political behavior. Overall, this study suggests that place has an important role in understanding the engagement of American voters.
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Postal voting intends to provide citizens residing abroad with a convenient voting technique to influence political representation in their country of origin. However, its adoption among individuals is dependent on two opposing factors. On the one hand, voting via post helps to overcome the increasing distance between a voter’s residency abroad and the nearest polling station organized by a diplomatic mission (mostly at an embassy or a consulate). On the other hand, this way of voting also requires enough trust that the postal service and designated state office will successfully deliver one’s vote to the ballot box because the result cannot be effectively verified without violation of the ballot secrecy. We examine the interaction of these two factors in an originally conducted survey among Finnish citizens residing abroad fielded shortly after the 2019 Parliamentary elections—the first occasion after Finland put postal voting into effect. Altogether, 664 respondents responded to all questions required for our specification of binomial logistic regression models controlling for various potential confounders. The results demonstrate that trust in postal voting moderates the impact of distance on one’s probability to adopt postal voting. While low-trusting emigrant voters remain largely indifferent regardless of the distance to the nearest polling station, medium-trusting non-resident citizens increasingly mail their ballots when the nearest polling station is more than 100 km away. High-trusting individuals begin to increasingly do so when they are ten to 30 km away.
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Habit is among the most influential explanations for why people vote. Scholars have addressed the impact of individual disruptions to habitual voting, but analyses including several life events are rare. We combine two panel surveys, conducted in the UK during 1991-2017, to examine the impact of unemployment, retirement, changes in partnership status, moving and disability on voting. We distinguish between habitual voters, occasional voters and habitual non-voters. For all voter groups, turnout declines with divorce. For other life events, the impacts diverge across the voter groups. Overall, the findings suggest that social connections are the strongest underlying mechanisms explaining the changes. Although the results support the voting habit thesis, they also suggest that previous research has overstated the persistence of voting habits. The results revise some of the canonical findings by demonstrating that the impact of life events differs across people with different voting habits and across different life events.
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The political representation of citizens of immigrant origin in Western Europe has received much attention in recent years’ political science research. While existing research has advanced our understanding of the drivers of citizens of immigrant origins’ descriptive representation, a lot less is known about its consequences for citizens of immigrant origins’ electoral participation. This article intends to address this gap in the literature by conducting the first cross-country comparative study of whether migrant-specific descriptive representation can attenuate turnout gaps between citizens of immigrant origin and native-origin citizens in 11 Western European democracies. Linking data on migrant-specific descriptive representation in national parliaments with survey data provided by the European Social Survey, results suggest that turnout gaps tend to be lower in countries where descriptive representation is high. However, this relationship is contingent upon citizens of immigrant origin who consider themselves to be in an ethnic minority position, in which they frequently experience discrimination. By contrast, there is no evidence that descriptive representation matters for turnout levels of non-marginalised citizens of immigrant origin. The study sheds light on the widely overlooked link between descriptive representation and the immigrant gap in turnout levels and opens up several avenues for future research.
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Previous studies show that people with poor health have a lower propensity to vote. With individual-level register data on sickness allowance episodes and voting in three Finnish elections, we address the following questions: (1) What degree of sickness allowance days negatively influences turnout? (2) Are sickness absences on election day more harmful than absences that occur before the elections? (3) What is the effect of cumulative sickness allowance spells before the elections over a period of several years? We use a threefold categorisation approach, which differentiates between immediate, short-term and long-term health effects on voting. The results show that multiple sickness allowance spells over several years are more strongly connected to turnout than health problems experienced only in the year prior to the elections. Falling ill at the time of the elections had no consistent additional negative relationship with voting. We suggest that the demobilising effects of immediate health problems are associated with tangible factors, while long-term effects are related to lowered levels of political efficacy, interest and social connectedness.
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This article describes what is known and what is not known about voting early. It specifically refers to absentee voting, mail-in voting, and in-person early voting generally as 'early voting'. Moreover, it determines what is believed to be a fruitful research agenda on early voting, as well as the methodological challenges that scholars will likely confront. A brief history of early voting is first presented. The turnout effect of early voting is wasted on early voters but has a significant and positive effect on the likelihood that infrequent voters will ballot on election day. It is shown that parties and candidates have an important role in catalyzing the effects of election reforms. The convenience and accessibility of a voter's election-day voting place is a significant incentive to voting. Future research on election reforms might pick up from more basic research on models of voter turnout.
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We argue that research on political behavior, including political participation, public opinion, policy responsiveness, and political inequality will be strengthened by studying the role of health. We then provide evidence that self-rated health status (SRHS) is associated with voter turnout and partisanship. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) and General Social Survey (GSS), we find that people who report excellent health are more likely to vote and more likely to identify with the Republican Party. Moreover, the effects of health on voter turnout and partisanship appear to have both developmental and contemporaneous components. Taken together, our findings suggest that health inequalities may have significant political consequences.
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Voter turnout has puzzled political scientists ever since Anthony Downs postulated the paradox of voting. Despite decades of research aiming to understand what drives citizens to the polls, the jury is still out on what the foundations of micro-level turnout are. This paper aims to provide a modest yet important contribution by taking a step back and summarizing where we stand and what we know. To this end, we review 90 empirical studies of individual level voter turnout in national elections published in ten top-journals during the past decade (2000–2010). Through a meta-analysis of the results reported in these studies, this paper identifies those factors that are consistently linked to individual level turnout.
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In a representational democracy, the process of selecting people to represent the electorate is critical. To accomplish this goal, it is crucial that elections be fair and accurate reflections of the decisions of the voters. However, a significant and relatively unacknowledged constituency, people with disabilities, faces a variety of barriers to full participation in the U.S. electoral democracy. Recent research has provided evidence that how people with disabilities vote is just as important as the physical barriers they face when casting their votes. This article presents an overview of the literature addressing issues that affect how people with disabilities vote, with an especial focus on the role of election officials as both facilitators and inhibitors of voting by people with disabilities.
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List of tables List of figures Preface Introduction: 1. The decline and fall of political activism? 2. Theories of political activism Part I. The Puzzle of Electoral Turnout: 3. Mapping turnout 4. Do institutions matter? 5. Who votes? Part II. Political Parties: 6. Mapping party activism 7. Who joins? Part III. Social Capital and Civic Society: 8. Social capital and civic society 9. Traditional mobilising agencies: unions and churches 10. New social movements, protest politics and the internet 11. Conclusions: the reinvention of political activism? Appendix: comparative framework Notes Select bibliography Index.
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In recent years many states have reformed (or considered reforming) their electoral administration to increase turnout. This article uses the existing international literature on electoral administration and voter turnout to construct a continuum on which electoral procedures can be classified according to whether they have ‘restrictive’ or ‘expansive’ effects on participation. This continuum is argued to be a useful heuristic device for political scientists and policy‐makers seeking to identify the likely effects of reforms and can help to structure future debate and research.
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Why is turnout higher in some countries and/or in some elections than in others? Why does it increase or decrease over time? To address these questions, I start with the pioneer studies of Powell and Jackman and then review more recent research. This essay seeks to establish which propositions about the causes of variations in turnout are consistently supported by empirical evidence and which ones remain ambiguous. I point out some enigmas and gaps in the field and suggest directions for future research. Most of the research pertains to established democracies, but analyses of nonestablished democracies are also included here.
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We examine the question of whether or not reducing the costs of voting by conducting elections entirely through the mail rather than at the traditional polling place increases participation. Using election data from Oregon, we examine whether or not elections conducted through the mail increase turnout in both local and statewide elections. Using precinct-level data merged with census data we also examine how postal voting may alter the composition of the electorate. We find that, while all-mail elections tend to produce higher turnout, the most significant increases occur in low stimulus elections, such as local elections or primaries where turnout is usually low. The increase in turnout, however, is not uniform across demographic groups. Voting only by mail is likely to increase turnout among those who are already predisposed to vote, such as those with higher socioeconomic status. Like other administrative reforms designed to make voting easier, postal voting has the potential to increase turnout. However, the expanded pool of voters will be limited most likely to those already inclined to vote but find it inconvenient to go to the polling place. This conclusion is consistent with the growing body of research that suggests that relaxing administrative requirements is not likely to be the panacea for low turnout among the disenfranchised.
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Modern democratic nations have designed electoral systems to achieve two fundamental goals: increasing enfranchisement and voting, and, assuring the integrity of the vote. Efforts to achieve these two objectives can generate a tension between them. As an example, postal voting (also called absentee balloting) has the benefit of allowing persons who cannot easily reach a polling place to vote from remote locations at some time prior to the day of the election. This is especially valuable to persons with disabilities that limit their ability to travel. But postal voting also increases the risk of fraud. Specifically, these ballots can be stolen and either cast by other people or destroyed. The magnitude of this problem can increase in congregate living settings where multiple voters cast absentee ballots. In short, there is a trade-off between an effort to enhance enfranchisement, in this case by postal voting, while at the same time assuring the integrity of the electoral process.The purpose of this paper is to examine and compare various nations’ electoral systems in order to understand how they address this trade-off. Our focus on voting by elderly persons, particularly those with cognitive impairments, highlights how well the various approaches succeed in simultaneously facilitating voting by vulnerable elderly persons while reducing the opportunities for deception and fraud.
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This study explores mechanisms involved in self-evaluation of health by making specifications of linkages among various dimensions of health status, physiological measures, social and behavioral factors or characteristics. The proposed structural equation model is tested by using data from a comprehensive health survey of the population of Finnmark county, Norway (1987-88), including 4549 men and 4360 women aged 30-62. The findings suggest the burden of physical distress and reliance on permanent disablement benefit to play the key role in reducing self-evaluated health. The seemingly strong labelling impact of permanent work disability, contrasted the modest effect of diagnoses of chronic disease. Moreover, the impact of both these key factors and other important determinants is strongly socially patterned. Positive health related life-style appeared to have a positive impact on self-rated health, while preoccupation with health had a negative impact. This finding adds some credibility to the suggestion that the growing occupation and fascination with health have some negative health outcomes.
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In the past 15 years, we have seen a marked increase in research on socioeconomic status (SES) and health. Research in the first part of this era examined the nature of the relationship of SES and health, revealing a graded association; SES is important to health not only for those in poverty, but at all levels of SES. On average, the more advantaged individuals are, the better their health. In this paper we examine the data regarding the SES-health gradient, addressing causal direction, generalizability across populations and diseases, and associations with health for different indicators of SES. In the most recent era, researchers are increasingly exploring the mechanisms by which SES exerts an influence on health. There are multiple pathways by which SES determines health; a comprehensive analysis must include macroeconomic contexts and social factors as well as more immediate social environments, individual psychological and behavioral factors, and biological predispositions and processes.
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In most countries health policy is an important part of the political agenda. Yet few studies have examined the relationship between the two. This study investigates the association between health and voter turnout in Britain using the National Child Development Study. Self-rated general health, the Malaise Inventory score and indicators of smoking and alcohol consumption, as measured at ages 23, 33 and 42, are regressed on voter turnout in the 1979, 1987 and 1997 general elections. The results indicate that individuals with poor general and mental health and smokers are less likely to vote at election time.
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Health issues are an integral part of the political agenda in Ireland. Yet no study to date has examined the impact of health concerns on political outcomes. This study investigates the relationship between health, both physical and psychological, and perceptions of the health service, and voter turnout in Ireland using the European Social Survey in 2005, (n = 2286, RR 59.7%). The results show that individuals with poor subjective health are significantly less likely to vote in a General Election. Dissatisfaction with the health service is also associated with a lower probability of voting. However these effects interact: those with poor health and who are dissatisfied with the health service are more likely to vote. Psychological well-being has no effect on voter turnout. The health effects identified in this study are large and further work is needed in this area to identify the causal mechanisms underlying this relationship.
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this paper has been corrected for estimated changes in the ineligible portion of the U.S. voting age population (cf. Mackie and Rose 1991, 458)
Book
This thoroughly revised and updated edition offers a comprehensive guide to measures of health and is an essential reference resource for all health professionals and students. Containing details of the use of most of the major measures of health and functioning, the new edition includes: a new chapter on measuring global quality of life; updated analysis of measures of subjective well-being; and a revised and up-to-date selection of useful addresses. Measuring Health is key reading for upper level undergraduates and postgraduates in health studies, health sciences, research methods and social sciences
Chapter
People with disabilities often face extra difficulties participating in elections. Individuals with mobility impairments, for example, may have difficulty getting to a polling place, getting inside a polling place, and using the voting equipment. People who are blind or have limited vision may have similar problems, particularly with regard to seeing the ballot and registering a choice. People with limited manual dexterity may have problems filling out a ballot or otherwise operating voting equipment, and people with cognitive impairments may have difficulty reading the ballot or understanding how to vote. This is an important issue for American elections, in part because of the large number of people with disabilities who are eligible to vote and the likely growth in this number as the population ages. Between 35 and 46 million voting-age people with disabilities live in the United States, making them one of the largest minority groups in the country. Over the past few decades, the disability rights movement has achieved many political gains, such as the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990. These gains have occurred despite evidence that people with disabilities are generally less likely than those without disabilities to vote or engage in other forms of political action.
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Objective. Disability affects resources and other factors associated with political participation. This study examines the relative importance of these factors by analyzing voter turnout among people with d sabilities. Methods. This study uses the Current Population Survey and a survey of people with spinal cord injuries (SCI), with data on 1992 presidential election voter turnout. It compares voting rates and determinants between the general population and people with SCI, and links voter turnout to disability characteristics. Results. Voter turnout among people with SCI was 10 percentage points lower than among otherwise-similar people in the general population. Employed people with SCI were just as likely as other employed people to vote, while turnout was strongly depressed among the two-thirds of people with SCI who were not employed. Within the SCI sample, turnout was higher among people who are able to drive and who attend religious services, and was not affected by severity of injury. Conclusions. The results highlight the importance of employment and general mobility for voter turnout. Further research on the low turnout of nonemployed people with disabilities is warranted. Future turnout levels will probably be affected by the success of the ADA and other policies in increasing employment of the one in five Americans with disabilities.
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To what extent are people with disabilities fully included in economic, political, and social life? People with disabilities have faced a long history of exclusion, stigma, and discrimination, but have made impressive gains in the past several decades. These gains include the passage of major civil rights legislation and the adoption of the 2006 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This book provides an overview of the progress and continuing disparities faced by people with disabilities around the world, reviewing hundreds of studies and presenting new evidence from analysis of surveys and interviews with disability leaders. it shows the connections among economic, political, and social inclusion, and how the experience of disability can vary by gender, race, and ethnicity. it uses a multidisciplinary approach, drawing on theoretical models and research in economics, political science, psychology, disability studies, law, and sociology.
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One effect of rising health care costs has been to raise the profile of studies that evaluate care and create a systematic evidence base for therapies and, by extension, for health policies. All clinical trials and evaluative studies require instruments to monitor the outcomes of care in terms of quality of life, disability, pain, mental health, or general well-being. Many measurement tools have been developed, and choosing among them is difficult. This book provides comparative reviews of the quality of leading health measurement instruments and a technical and historical introduction to the field of health measurement, and discusses future directions in the field. This edition reviews over 100 scales, presented in chapters covering physical disability, psychological well-being, anxiety, depression, mental status testing, social health, pain measurement, and quality of life. An introductory chapter describes the theoretical and methodological development of health measures, while a final chapter reviews the current status of the field, indicating areas in which further development is required. Each chapter includes a tabular comparison of the quality of the instruments reviewed, followed by a detailed description of each instrument, covering its purpose and conceptual basis, its reliability and validity, alternative versions and, where possible, a copy of the scale itself. To ensure accuracy, each review has been approved by the original author of each instrument or by an acknowledged expert.
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The Presidential Commission on Election Administration’s mission includes identifying best practices and making recommendations to promote voting accessibility and improve the experiences of voters with disabilities. This White Paper reviews the evidence on voter turnout and voting difficulties among people with disabilities, and identifies best practices for removing obstacles that can limit their ability to exercise the right to vote. As will be seen, while progress has been made, significantly more needs to be done to make the election system fully accessible.
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Forms of convenience voting - early in-person voting, voting by mail, absentee voting, electronic voting, and voting by fax - have become the mode of choice for >30% of Americans in recent elections. Despite this, and although nearly every state in the United States has adopted at least one form of convenience voting, the academic research on these practices is unequally distributed across important questions. A great deal of literature on turnout is counterbalanced by a dearth of research on campaign effects, election costs, ballot quality, and the risk of fraud. This article introduces the theory of convenience voting, reviews the current literature, and suggests areas for future research.
Book
Part I. Introduction: 1. Do rules matter? 2. Classifying electoral systems 3. Evaluating electoral systems Part II. The Consequences for Voting Behavior: 4. Party systems 5. Social cleavages 6. Party loyalties 7. Turnout Part III. The Consequences for Political Representation: 8. Women 9. Ethnic minorities 10. Constituency service Part IV. Conclusions: 11. The impact of electoral engineering.
Book
This controversial new look at democracy in a multicultural society considers the ideals of political inclusion and exclusion, and recommends ways to engage in democratic politics in a more inclusive way. Processes of debate and decision making often marginalize individuals and groups because the norms of political discussion are biased against some forms of expression. Inclusion and Democracy broadens our understanding of democratic communication by reflecting on the positive political functions of narrative, rhetorically situated appeals, and public protest. It reconstructs concepts of civil society and public sphere as enacting such plural forms of communication among debating citizens in large-scale societies. Iris Marion Young thoroughly discusses class, race, and gender bias in democratic processes, and argues that the scope of a polity should extend as wide as the scope of social and economic interactions that raise issues of justice. Today this implies the need for global democratic institutions. Young also contends that due to processes of residential segregation and the design of municipal jurisdictions, metropolitan governments which preserve significant local autonomy may be necessary to promote political equality. This latest work from one of the world's leading political philosophers will appeal to audiences from a variety of fields, including philosophy, political science, women's studies, ethnic studies, sociology, and communications studies.
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Objective We examine whether people with disabilities are part of the political mainstream, or remain outsiders in important respects, by studying political participation and the underexplored topic of how disability relates to attitudes toward politics. Method We analyze new disability measures on the 2008 and 2010 Current Population Surveys voting supplements, and two other nationally representative surveys for 2006 and 2007. ResultsCitizens with disabilities remain less likely than nondisabled citizens to vote. While there are few differences in political preferences and party affiliations, people with disabilities tend to favor a greater government role in employment and healthcare, and give lower ratings on government responsiveness and trustworthiness. Conclusion People with disabilities continue to be sidelined in important ways. Fully closing the disability gap would have led to 3.0 million more voters in 2008 and 3.2 million more voters in 2010, potentially affecting many races and subsequent public policies.
Article
The authors analyze the choice of voting mode in the 2008 presidential election using a large-sample survey with national coverage that allows a new perspective of convenience voting. Most importantly, they make clear distinctions among the major forms of convenience voting and demonstrate that not all “convenience voters” share the same attributes. In addition, the authors find little support for the hypothesis that convenience voting methods have partisan implications, despite the differences among mail, early, and election-day voters. Results like these have important implications for future moves toward convenience voting and the design of new outreach campaigns.
Article
A number of electoral reforms have been enacted in the United States in the past three decades that are designed to increase turnout by easing restrictions on the casting of ballots. Both proponents and opponents of electoral reforms agree that these reforms should increase the demographic representativeness of the electorate by reducing the direct costs of voting, thereby increasing turnout among less-privileged groups who, presumably, are most sensitive to the costs of coming to the polls. In fact, these reforms have been greatly contested because both major political parties believe that increasing turnout among less-privileged groups will benefit Democratic politicians. I review evidence from numerous studies of electoral reform to demonstrate that reforms designed to make it easier for registered voters to cast their ballots actually increase, rather than reduce, socioeconomicbiases in the composition of the voting public. I conclude with a recommendation that we shift the focus of electoral reform from an emphasis on institutional changes to a concentration on political engagement.
Article
This article examines the interaction between individual characteristics and institutional incentives in non–voting, with a special focus on the interaction between these two types of explanatory variables. The analysis of survey and contextual data for parliamentary elections in 15 Western European countries shows that the effect of individual resources and motivations on abstention is not constant across different countries. Conversely, the effect of institutional incentives (compulsory voting, voting facilities, electoral thresholds of representation and preference expression) on non–voting depends on the elector's level of resources and motivations. One of the four institutional incentives considered has even opposite effects for citizens with different individual characteristics. The analysis also shows that when analysing interactions it is fundamental to distinguish between magnitudes and consequences of the effects of explanatory variables. This has important implications for the interpretation of the results of logistic regression analysis.
Article
Habit is a frequently mentioned but understudied cause of political action. This article provides the first direct test of the hypothesis that casting a ballot in one election increases one's propensity to go to the polls in the future. A field experiment involving 25,200 registered voters was conducted prior to the November general election of 1998. Subjects were randomly assigned to treatment conditions in which they were urged to vote through direct mail or face-to-face canvassing. Compared to a control group that received no contact, the treatment groups were significantly more likely to vote in 1998. The treatment groups were also significantly more likely to vote in local elections held in November of 1999. After deriving a statistical estimator to isolate the effect of habit, we find that, ceteris paribus, voting in one election substantially increases the likelihood of voting in the future. Indeed, the influence of past voting exceeds the effects of age and education reported in previous studies.
Article
Theory and evidence suggests that respondents are likely to overreport voter turnout in election surveys because they have a strong incentive to offer a socially desirable response. We suggest that contextual influences may affect the socially desirable bias, leading to variance in the rate of overreporting across countries. This leads us to hypothesize that nonvoters will be more likely to overreport voting in elections that have high turnout. We rely on validated turnout data to measure overreporting in five countries which vary a great deal in turnout: Britain, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and the United States. We find that in national settings with higher levels of participation, the tendency to overreport turnout may be greater than in settings where low participation is the norm.
Article
Objective. Early voting has been suggested as one method of increasing voter turnout. Allowing voters to cast their ballots during a longer time period may ameliorate some barriers to participation that exist. However, the question of whether early voting mobilizes previous nonvoting registrants or simply makes voting easier for those who would have participated anyway remains largely unanswered. Methods. We test these questions through the use of an individual level survey of voters in one Tennessee county. Using logistic regression, we consider the impact of demographic and attitudinal factors on the propensity to vote on election day or to use early voting. Results. We find marked differences between nonvoters and voters of either type, but we find few significant differences between early voters and traditional voters. We find little support for a mobilization effect and some evidence suggests that early voting merely conveniences those who would have voted anyway.
Article
Increasing attention is being paid to the importance of built environment characteristics for participation, especially among people with various levels of impairment or activity limitations. The purpose of this research was to examine the role of specific characteristics in the urban environment as they interact with underlying impairments and activity limitations to either promote or hinder participation in life situations. Using data from the Chicago Community Adult Health Study (2001-2003) in the United States, we used logistic regression to examine the effect of built environment characteristics on three indicators of participation (interpersonal interaction, obtaining preventive health care, and voting) among adults age 45+ (N = 1225). We examined effects across two levels of spatial scale: the census tract and block group. One in five adults reported difficulty walking 2-3 blocks unaided, but their odds of engaging in regular interpersonal interaction was 45% higher when they lived in areas with higher residential security. For the thirty-six percent of adults who reported visual impairment, and the odds of obtaining preventive health care were over 20% lower when living in an area with heavy traffic. Residing in an area with a high proportion of streets in poor condition was associated with 60% lower odds of voting among those with underlying difficulty with mobility activities. Results varied across levels of spatial scale. Simple changes in urban built environments may facilitate the full participation of all persons in society.
Article
Self-Rated Health (SRH) as assessed by a single-item measure is an independent predictor of health outcomes. However, it remains uncertain which elements of the subjective health experience it most strongly captures. In view of its ability to predict outcomes, elucidation of what determines SRH is potentially important in the provision of services. This study aimed to determine the extent to which dimensions of physical, mental and social functioning are associated with SRH. We studied 20,853 men and women aged 39-79 years from a population-based cohort study (European Prospective Investigation of Cancer study) who had completed an SRH (Short Form (SF)-1) measure and SF-36 questionnaire. SF-36 subscales were used to quantify dimensions of health best predicting poor or fair SRH within a logistic regression model. In multivariate models adjusting for age, gender, social class, medical conditions and depression, all subscales of the SF-36 were independently associated with SRH, with the Physical Functioning subscale more strongly associated with poor or fair compared with excellent, very good or good health (OR 3.7 (95% CI 3.3 to 4.1)) than Mental Health (OR 1.4 (95% CI 1.2 to 1.5)) or Social Functioning subscales (OR 1.8 (95% CI 1.6 to 2.0)) for those below and above the median. This study confirms that physical functioning is more strongly associated with SRH than mental health and social functioning, even where the relative associations between each dimension and SRH may be expected to differ, such as in those with depression. It suggests that the way people take account of physical, mental and social dimensions of function when rating their health may be relatively stable across groups.
Article
In the 2003 California gubernatorial recall election 2,775,785 absentee ballots were cast, representing about 30 percent of all voters statewide. Given the number of absentee ballots and the increasing propensity for voters in California and elsewhere to choose this voting method, we some basic questions: Who are absentee voters, and are they different from polling place voters? To answer these questions, we fielded a statewide survey of absentee voters in the days before the October 7 recall election, asking respondents why they voted absentee, their partisan and ideological preferences, demographic characteristics, and other relevant questions. We find that absentee voters do not differ significantly from the overall state electorate in terms of their vote preferences, despite being older and better educated. For example, 56 percent of absentee voters in our survey voted “yes” on the recall, compared with 55 percent for the entire state, according to official returns. Further, absentee voters favored Arnold Schwarzenegger over Cruz Bustamante by a considerable margin, similar to the overall election results. We found party registration among absentee voters to be nearly identical to statewide partisan registration.
Article
The association of self-rated health with mortality is well established but poorly understood. This paper provides new insights into self-rated health that help integrate information from different disciplines, both social and biological, into one unified conceptual framework. It proposes, first, a model describing the health assessment process to show how self-rated health can reflect the states of the human body and mind. Here, an analytic distinction is made between the different types of information on which people base their health assessments and the contextual frameworks in which this information is evaluated and summarized. The model helps us understand why self-ratings of health may be modified by age or culture, but still be a valid measure of health status. Second, based on the proposed model, the paper examines the association of self-rated health with mortality. The key question is, what do people know and how do they know what they know that makes self-rated health such an inclusive and universal predictor of the most absolute biological event, death. The focus is on the social and biological pathways that mediate information from the human organism to individual consciousness, thus incorporating that information into self-ratings of health. A unique source of information is provided by the bodily sensations that are directly available only to the individual him- or herself. According to recent findings in human biology, these sensations may reflect important physiological dysregulations, such as inflammatory processes. Third, the paper discusses the advantages and limitations of self-rated health as a measure of health in research and clinical practice. Future research should investigate both the logics that govern people's reasoning about their health and the physiological processes that underlie bodily feelings and sensations. Self-rated health lies at the cross-roads of culture and biology, therefore a collaborative effort between different disciplines can only improve our understanding of this key measure of health status.
Article
The objective of this study is to verify empirically the existence of separate dimensions in the overall concept of health status by analyzing 10 variables included in a questionnaire that was applied to all adults in a simple random sample of households in St John's, Newfoundland. The response rate was 85% for a total of 3300 subjects. These data were analyzed by frequencies and by associations with sex, age and education. Nonparametric correlation, factor and cluster analyses on variables were used to verify if health status had identifiable dimensions. All these methods produced similar results showing five distinct factors. The first factor is composed of variables related to disease (disability/chronic conditions/worry about health); the second, to happiness (happiness/emotional); the third, to subjective appraisal of health (physical condition/comparative level of energy/self-rated health status). Finally, the fourth and fifth factors were single variables; restriction of normal activities and social contacts. An interesting finding was that self-rated health status was distributed with almost equal weight in both the first and third factors. A validation of the 10 variables and the 5 factors was undertaken by studying their association with health care utilization. Two measures of utilization were used; number of physicians' visits in a year and number of hospital days in a 4-year period. Number of chronic conditions, disability and self-rated health status were associated with both measures of utilization; factor 1 was the only summary construct showing association with utilization. This paper demonstrates that self-rated health status is valid as a single measure of overall health status in this sample, being associated with both disease and subjective assessment components.
Article
People suffering from mental illness are often disenfranchized from many functions of society. Voting is one such area where disenfranchizement and exclusion are unnecessarily experienced. The emphasis on service provision as a means of achieving social inclusion for those with mental illness may relegate it to a principle of treatment compliance. Should measures of social function remain the main indicators of successful community care or should measures of social integration be identified, assessed and maintained? Mental health professionals should actively pursue users' voting rights in light of the changing legal climate and the introduction of human rights legislation into United Kingdom law. With the potentially huge political capital in this area the author believes that the current debate regarding social inclusion cannot be adequately addressed unless this fundamental and democratic principle is included more extensively.
Article
The object of this study was to determine whether the magnitude of educational health inequalities varies between European countries with different welfare regimes. The data source is based on the first and second wave of the European Social Survey. The first health indicator describes people's mental and physical health in general, while the second reports cases of any limiting longstanding illness. Educational inequalities in health were measured as the difference in health between people with an average number of years of education and people whose educational years lay one standard deviation below the national average. Moreover, South European welfare regimes had the largest health inequalities, while countries with Bismarckian welfare regimes tended to demonstrate the smallest. Although the other welfare regimes ranked relatively close to each other, the Scandinavian welfare regimes were placed less favourably than the Anglo-Saxon and East European. Thus, this study shows an evident patterning of magnitudes of health inequalities according to features of European welfare regimes. Although the greater distribution of welfare benefits within the Scandinavian countries are likely to have a protective effect for disadvantaged cities in these countries, other factors such as relative deprivation and class-patterned health behaviours might be acting to widen health inequalities.
Article
Election administrators and public officials often consider changes in electoral laws, hoping that these changes will increase voter turnout and make the electorate more reflective of the voting-age population. The most recent of these innovations is voting-by-mail (VBM), a procedure by which ballots are sent to an address for every registered voter. Over the last 2 decades, VBM has spread across the United States, unaccompanied by much empirical evaluation of its impact on either voter turnout or the stratification of the electorate. In this study, we fill this gap in our knowledge by assessing the impact of VBM in one state, Oregon. We carry out this assessment at the individual level, using data over a range of elections. We argue that VBM does increase voter turnout in the long run, primarily by making it easier for current voters to continue to participate, rather than by mobilizing nonvoters into the electorate. These effects, however, are not uniform across all groups in the electorate. Although VBM in Oregon does not exert any influence on the partisan composition of the electorate, VBM increases, rather than diminishes, the resource stratification of the electorate. Contrary to the expectations of many reformers, VBM advantages the resource-rich by keeping them in the electorate, and VBM does little to change the behavior of the resource-poor. In short, VBM increases turnout, but it does so without making the electorate more descriptively representative of the voting-age population.
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