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.