America's Uneven Democracy: Race, Turnout, and Representation in City Politics
Although there is a widespread belief that uneven voter turnout leads to biased outcomes in American democracy, existing empirical tests have found few effects. By offering a systematic account of how and where turnout matters in local politics, this book challenges much of what we know about turnout in America today. It demonstrates that low and uneven turnout, a factor at play in most American cities, leads to sub-optimal outcomes for racial and ethnic minorities. Low turnout results in losses in mayoral elections, less equitable racial and ethnic representation on city councils, and skewed spending policies. The importance of turnout confirms long held suspicions about the under-representation of minorities and raises normative concerns about local democracy. Fortunately, this book offers a solution. Analysis of local participation indicates that a small change to local election timing - a reform that is cost effective and relatively easy to enact- could dramatically expand local voter turnout.
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The Vote and Democracy
Where Turnout Should Matter
Turnout Could Matter at the Local Level
Winners and Losers in Mayoral Elections
Turnout and Representation on City Councils
Turnout and Local Government Spending Priorities
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African Americans American politics analysis Asian Americans average ballot California Census changes chapter citizens critical Democratic demographic developmental spending difﬁcult direct democracy effects of turnout elec elected ofﬁcials eligible voters ethnic groups ethnic minorities exit polls expanded turnout factors Feiock ﬁgures ﬁnd ﬁndings ﬁrst government spending Grofman Hajnal higher turnout Hispanic ICMA survey important increased turnout incumbents indicates inﬂuence institutional reform Latinos and Asian low turnout mayoral elections measure Median Household Income minority representation minority voters municipalities national contests national elections Noncitizen nonpartisan nonvoters off-cycle ofﬁce on-cycle Partisan Mayor Council patterns Percent Asian Percent Black percentage points political arena population potential preferences presidential primary racial and ethnic racial/ethnic redistributive spending registered voter turnout regressions represent representation on city Rosenstone signiﬁcant signiﬁcantly simulations skew Speciﬁcally studies Table term limits tests tions turnout effects turnout matters U.S. Census Bureau uneven turnout Verba voter participation winner