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Ballot design and invalid votes: Evidence from Colombia

Pachón, Mónica and Carroll, Royce and Barragán, Hernando (2017) 'Ballot design and invalid votes: Evidence from Colombia.' Electoral Studies, 48. pp. 98-110. ISSN 0261-3794

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We examine the tendency for complex ballots to undermine the ability of voters to cast valid votes. Specifically, we investigate the role of ballot design in explaining the high rate of invalid votes in Colombia observed in 2007. We address this question first by looking at data from a study observing the use of alternate ballot designs in a controlled environment, varying the information voters have when attempting to cast the ballot. Our results show that there is an effect of the ballot design on the amount of invalid votes and that this effect varies with education level. We then examine the observed pattern of invalid votes in Colombia before and after the implementation of the ballot redesign. Our results suggest that the introduction of a ballot with improved usability was associated with a significant decline in the number of invalid votes and that a rural-urban difference observed before the new ballot was no longer present.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
J Political Science > JL Political institutions (America except United States)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 26 May 2017 13:39
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 10:47

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