Proposal for the 2016 ANES Time Series Study: Reasons for Electoral Non-Participation

Today the ability of all Americans to effectively exercise the right to vote is far from guaranteed. However, the existing public opinion datasets rarely delve into the respondent’s reasons for not participating in electoral politics, especially reasons for not registering to vote or voting. Researchers cannot assume that non-participants are always lacking the interest to participate; rather they may provide a valid reason for their non-participation. The reasons can also be assessed for the combined impact of diverse respondents’ identities, by examining whether particular identity groups are more impacted by potential hurdles to their electoral participation. The Census CPS 2014 Voting and Registration Supplement provides a rare opportunity to assess the multiple reasons for respondent’s lack of electoral participation. This type of survey data is critical to examining the influence of possible suppression efforts on respondent’s ability and/or likelihood to register and vote. The ANES provides a great avenue for further examining respondent’s reasons for not participating in electoral politics.

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