The determinants of electoral registration quality: A cross-national analysis

James, Toby S. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5826-5461 and Garnett, Holly Ann (2023) The determinants of electoral registration quality: A cross-national analysis. Representation. ISSN 0034-4893

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Abstract

Electoral registers provide the definitive record of who can participate in an election, but there is often thought to be considerable variations in their quality cross-nationally. This leads to concerns about eligible voters being de facto disenfranchised on election day; but also ineligible voters or fictitious names appearing on the roll which can enable electoral fraud. In either case, the legitimacy of the election can be questioned. The electoral register is also used for other purposes such as drawing electoral boundaries. This article introduces some common international terminology for electoral register quality and a conceptualisation of the different ways in which an electoral register can be compiled. It then introduces a new global dataset on registration procedures (n = 159). The article hypotheses that automatic voter registration, as well as organisational and structural factors, strongly affects accuracy and completeness. The results show that automatic voter registration increases the completeness of the electoral register and also has a positive impact on accuracy. The organisational performance of the electoral management body was also shown to have positive effects on completeness and accuracy, suggesting an additional means of improving electoral registers beyond the registration model, which also rest in the hands of policy makers.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This work was supported by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada [grant number 890-2020-0006].
Uncontrolled Keywords: elections,electoral integrity,democracy,voter registration,development,sdg 16 - peace, justice and strong institutions ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/peace_justice_and_strong_institutions
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Political, Social and International Studies
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Policy & Politics
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2023 15:30
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 10:00
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/91733
DOI: 10.1080/00344893.2023.2207194

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