Bowles, Jeremy, Larreguy, Horacio and Woller, Anders (2020) Information Versus Control: The Electoral Consequences of Polling Place Creation. IAST working paper, n. 20-113, Toulouse

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We examine the incentives incumbents face when creating new polling
places. First, doing so improves incumbents’ ability to monitor brokers
and voters by reducing the number of registered voters per polling station. Second, it reduces the distance traveled by citizens to vote, which undercuts incumbents’ ability to control the electorate via turnout buying. We evaluate this trade-off in the context of Uganda, where the incumbent significantly influences electoral administration. Drawing on rich administrative data, we leverage discontinuities in the creation of polling places to causally identify the independent effects of the number of voters per polling station and distance to vote on electoral outcomes. We find that decreasing improves incumbent electoral outcomes, while reducing worsens them. The benefits for incumbent outweigh the costs, which rationalizes recent developments to expand polling infrastructure in Uganda and elsewhere.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Language: English
Date: September 2020
Place of Publication: Toulouse
Uncontrolled Keywords: electoral administration manipulation, turnout buying
Divisions: TSE-R (Toulouse)
Institution: Université Toulouse 1 Capitole
Site: UT1
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2020 15:25
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2020 15:25
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