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Published March 2014 | public
Journal Article

The Influence of Initiative Signature-Gathering Campaigns on Political Participation


Objective: This article studies the effect of initiative signature-gathering campaigns on political participation within a state. Methods: Using data on signatures gathered for eight initiatives and four different elections, we conduct grouped logit regression to test whether counties that are subject to more intense signature-gathering campaigns, measured by the number of signatures gathered per capita, experience greater levels of turnout and ballot roll-off in the subsequent election. Results: Our analysis provides evidence that the intensity of signature-gathering campaigns has a moderate effect on both of these measures of political participation. Conclusion: Initiative campaigns influence turnout not just at the state level, but variation in campaigns leads to differences within states as well.

Additional Information

© 2013 by the Southwestern Social Science Association. Article first published online: 11 Jul. 2013. The authors thank Alex Chang for his assistance with data collection. They also thank John Mott-Smith and the California Secretary of State's Office for providing them access to the data they used in this article. Authors' appendix and replication data for all analyses reported in this article are posted on Boehmke's website at http://www.fredboehmke.net.

Additional details

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