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Turnout and Rural Corruption: New York as a Test Case

Cox, Gary W. and Kousser, J. Morgan (1981) Turnout and Rural Corruption: New York as a Test Case. American Journal of Political Science, 25 (4). pp. 646-663. ISSN 0092-5853. doi:10.2307/2110757.

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In 1974 Philip Converse and Jerrold Rusk offered an institutional, and Walter Dean Burnham, a behavioral explanation of the decline in voter turnout in the northern United States around the turn of the century. An examination of turnout figures for New York State from 1870 to 1916 demonstrates that election statistics lend some support to both explanations, and that the elections around 1890 provide the strongest evidence in favor of the Converse-Rusk hypothesis. A systematic analysis of election-related stories in contemporary newspapers allows a test of Converse's assertion that the introduction of the secret ballot decreased reported turnout by damping down what he alleges was widespread rural corruption. Concluding that neither previous theory stands up well when confronted with the detailed voting figures and newspaper evidence, we propose an alternative explanation which melds the institutional and behavioral hypotheses.

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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle ItemEarlier version published as Social Science Working Paper 292
Additional Information:© 1981 by the University of Texas Press. Manuscript submitted 22 May 1980; Final manuscript received 30 January 1981. We wish to thank Professor Richard L. McCormick of Rutgers for guiding us to sources and for his closely reasoned critique of an earlier draft of this paper. Since we have not always accepted his suggestions, he should not be held responsible for any or our conclusions.
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130830-112115115
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Official Citation:Turnout and Rural Corruption: New York as a Test Case Gary W. Cox and J. Morgan Kousser American Journal of Political Science , Vol. 25, No. 4 (Nov., 1981), pp. 646-663 Published by: Midwest Political Science Association Article Stable URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:41035
Deposited By: SWORD User
Deposited On:03 Sep 2013 21:31
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 04:25

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