Electoral Chairs’ Seminars – 9 February

Do Unfounded Claims of Election Fraud Influence the Likelihood of Voting?

Jean-Nicolas Bordeleau (Université de Montréal)

The legitimacy of the electoral process is often put into question by political candidates and elites who seek to account for their loss. As a result, a significant portion of voters are presented with unfounded allegations of widespread election fraud even though such fraud seldom occurs in established democracies. Previous research has determined that misleading claims regarding the integrity of elections carry important implications for citizens’ perceptions of electoral fairness. In fact, scholars have shown unsubstantiated claims of election fraud to be detrimental to voters’ confidence in elections as well as their support for key democratic norms. However, the literature has yet to systematically explore the impact of electoral fraud allegations on voter participation. Using original survey data from the United Kingdom, this research will measure the impact of unfounded allegations of election fraud on the decision to vote or not. We will first look at the impact on specific dispositions of voting, that is, the likelihood that an individual will turn out at the next election. Then, we will turn to general dispositions of voting by considering the impact of fraud misperceptions on citizens’ sense that voting is a civic duty. Lastly, we will examine the ability of corrective messages to rectify misperceptions of electoral integrity and address the impacts of fraud allegations on voter participation.

Contact Semih Çakır if you would like to participate in the seminar.

This content has been updated on 7 February 2022 at 15 h 45 min.