Deciding who has the right to vote: A comparative analysis of election laws

Blais, Andre, Massicotte, Louis and Yoshinaka, Antoine (2001) Deciding who has the right to vote: A comparative analysis of election laws. Electoral studies, 20 1: 41-62. doi:10.1016/S0261-3794(99)00062-1

Author Blais, Andre
Massicotte, Louis
Yoshinaka, Antoine
Title Deciding who has the right to vote: A comparative analysis of election laws
Journal name Electoral studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0261-3794
Publication date 2001-03
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/S0261-3794(99)00062-1
Volume 20
Issue 1
Start page 41
End page 62
Total pages 22
Place of publication Oxford
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2001
Language eng
Subject CX
360102 Comparative Government and Politics
750602 Understanding electoral systems
1606 Political Science
Abstract The paper analyses seven potential restrictions to the right to vote in 63 democracies. Only two of these restrictions have given rise to a near consensus. An overwhelming majority of democracies have decided that the minimum voting age should be 18 and that the right to vote of mentally deficient people should be restricted. There is little consensus about whether the right to vote should be restrcited to citizens, about whether there should be country or electoral district residence requirements, about which electors residing abroad (if any) should retain their right to vote and about which prison inmates (if any) should have the right to vote. The paper also examines two factors that affect right to vote laws: British colonialism and level of political rights. The pattern found with respect to electoral systems, whereby former British colonies emulate their former ruler, is less systematic in the case of right to vote legislation. Finally, “strong” democracies are slightly more inclusive than “weak” ones when deciding who has the right to vote.
Keyword Election law
Voting rights
Q-Index Code CX

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Political Science and International Studies Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 40 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 14 Aug 2007, 16:35:09 EST