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Political Parties and Perceptions of Election Fraud


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Principal Investigator(s):

Emily Beaulieu
University of Kentucky
Email: eabeau2@email.uky.edu
Home page: http://blog.as.uky.edu/beaulieu/

Sample size: 3840
Field period: 04/02/2013-10/18/2013


Abstract:

How do political parties influence individuals’ perceptions of election fraud? Here, I propose a survey experiment designed to ascertain the extent to which partisanship and political polarization shape individuals’ perceptions of election fraud and to investigate whether such perceptions shape reform attitudes.

Hypotheses:

H1: Republican candidates associated with voter suppression (voters turned away from the polls) should motivate concerns about fraud at a higher rate than Democratic candidates.

H2: Democratic candidates associated with voter fraud (community organizations attempting to register ineligible voters) should motivate concerns about fraud at a higher rate than Republican Candidates.

H3: Individuals presented with a scenario where the candidate is a co-partisan should think fraud is less likely than individuals who do not share partisanship with the candidate in their scenario.

H4: Individuals presented with information regarding polarization should think fraud is less likely when they receive a scenario in which the winner is a co-partisan compared to individuals who do not receive information about polarization.

H5: Individuals presented with information regarding polarization should think fraud is less likely when they receive information about the partisan identity of the winning candidate compared to individuals who receive no information about the partisan identity of the winning candidate.

H6: Individuals who think fraud likely are more likely to prioritize voter ID for fraud prevention.

H7: Respondents who receive a voter fraud scenario are more likely to prioritize voter ID for fraud prevention

H8: Respondents who receive a voter suppression scenario are less likely to prioritize voter ID for fraud prevention.

Experimental Manipulations:

1) party of candidate in scenario (2 treatments + control)

2) specifics of scenario (3 treatments + control)

3) Polarization prime

Key Dependent Variables:

1) Fraud suspicion
2) Support for voter ID laws

Summary of Findings:

No support for H1 or H2

Strong support for H3

Mixed support for H4 & H5, but polarization associated with more fraud suspicion generally

Support for H6-H8

Additional Information:

References

Electronic Voting and Perceptions of Election Fraud and Fairness (accepted at Journal of Experimental Political Science)

Public Support for Voter Identification Laws: at the nexus of public opinion, political interest, and policy

 

 

 


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