Poster or Presentation Title

Voter Turnout in Virginia County Elections

Presenter Information

Cody T. ColeFollow

Access Type

Campus Access Only

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

April 2017

End Date

April 2017

Department

Political Science

Abstract

In this paper I will be examining the factors causing low voter turnout in Virginia county elections. Much of the literature that has to do with voter turnout in elections tends to focus on national elections, such as the presidency, since these elections are believed to be the most important for voters to participate in. Also, data for these elections is relatively easy to access. Many studies also focus on voter turnout in relation to statewide elections, such as for a governor, due to the same reasons as for the presidential elections. They believe these to be more important, as well as more interesting, and thus place more emphasis on their study. What literature there is on local elections, or more broadly local politics, is made up largely of studies conducted in urban settings. I believe that with my research, I will provide an insight into county elections—an area of politics that has received very little study. I choose to examine Virginia because of its unique system of separating counties and cities; also, since I am a lifelong resident of Virginia, I have a vested interest in understanding how elections work in the state. With my research, I hope to provide an insight into not only into the dynamics of local elections in Virginia, but also into the dynamics of local elections across the United States.

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Lorna Dawson, Dr. Laura Kicklighter, Dr. Daniel Lang

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Apr 5th, 9:15 AM Apr 5th, 9:30 AM

Voter Turnout in Virginia County Elections

In this paper I will be examining the factors causing low voter turnout in Virginia county elections. Much of the literature that has to do with voter turnout in elections tends to focus on national elections, such as the presidency, since these elections are believed to be the most important for voters to participate in. Also, data for these elections is relatively easy to access. Many studies also focus on voter turnout in relation to statewide elections, such as for a governor, due to the same reasons as for the presidential elections. They believe these to be more important, as well as more interesting, and thus place more emphasis on their study. What literature there is on local elections, or more broadly local politics, is made up largely of studies conducted in urban settings. I believe that with my research, I will provide an insight into county elections—an area of politics that has received very little study. I choose to examine Virginia because of its unique system of separating counties and cities; also, since I am a lifelong resident of Virginia, I have a vested interest in understanding how elections work in the state. With my research, I hope to provide an insight into not only into the dynamics of local elections in Virginia, but also into the dynamics of local elections across the United States.