BA Dissertation

Abstract

Voter Identification (ID) laws determine the freedom and security to which citizens can exercise their right to vote at an election or referendum. The use of these laws draws controversy and debate among politicians and the public but less so in academia outside the USA. This integral part of the democratic process seems largely ignored by academics and therefore the public debate suffers. The purpose of this study is to address the lack of attention that ID laws currently experience and answer two key research questions. Are ID laws related with a change in the level of electoral turnout? Are ID laws related with a difference in attitudes towards democratic integrity? Using multi-level regression modelling, this study will conclude that only countries with the strictest ID laws have a lower level of electoral turnout. In addition, different types of laws do appear to have a negative impact on citizen’s perceptions. However, this depends on what aspects of integrity citizens are asked about.Thirdly, depending on a country’s ID law the perceived electoral integrity by expert analysis can be reduced.

Tom Barton
Tom Barton
MSc Student in Politics

My research interests broadly focus on quantitative politics.