Citizens at the Council: Comparing the Impact of Mediated Information and First-Hand Experience on Voter Turnout in Municipal Elections

Background
Research Design
Hypotheses
  • The more enthusiastic a voter is about her most-preferred candidate/party, the greater is her motivation to vote, conditional on the voter’s indifference between candidates/parties.
  • The more indifferent a voter is between her most-preferred candidate/party and other candidates/parties, the lower is her motivation to vote, conditional on the voter’s enthusiasm for her most-preferred candidate/party.
  • Access to performance information increases pro-incumbent voting, if the incumbent’s performance is better than the voter had expected.
  • Access to performance information decreases pro-incumbent voting, if the incumbent’s performance is worse than the voter had expected.
  • If voters were previously uncertain about the incumbent’s performance, access to performance information about the incumbent causes voters to place greater weight on expected performance in forming their candidate preferences.
  • Personal invitations to municipal council/delegation speciale meetings reinforce the effect of performance information on vote choice.
  • Personal invitations to municipal council meetings cause voters to place greater weight on expected performance in forming their candidate preferences.
  • Personal invitations to municipal council meetings increase citizens’ interest in/attentiveness to performance information.
  • Personal invitations to municipal council meetings increase citizens’ motivation to vote.
  • Actual attendance of a municipal council meeting increases citizens’ motivation to vote.
Findings