Voter Research and Party-Line Voting in Municipal Elections

Ted Field Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Gregory Shufeldt Butler University
Local government is a vital component to every American life. Because an uninformed voter is in danger of negatively impacting not only themselves, but the rest of their community, it is important that citizens look beyond just the partisanship of their candidates in order to create a community that works for the betterment of the people. Based on my readings of the scholarly literature, I found that partisanship is a significant voting determinant, especially at the national level. Therefore, I set out to test whether or not partisanship plays as large a role at the municipal level. Due to the fact that previous studies on similar topics did not address the question of how much time people spend researching their local candidates for office, I hypothesized that a lack of research would lead to a higher tendency to party-line vote. To test my hypothesis, I wrote two original questions for an online survey administered through the platform Qualtrics which recruited a sample through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing program. After performing a chi-squared test on the data received, I concluded that my results were not statistically significant and, therefore, my hypothesis was incorrect. In fact, the data suggests that if there was to be any relationship, it would be that those who do more research are actually more likely to party line vote. Though not the preferred outcome, this could lead to further research that could help to determine why people tend to party-line vote in the first place.
Political Science
Oral Presentation

When & Where

09:00 AM
Jordan Hall 172