Date of Award

Spring 2019

Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Honors Bachelor of Arts


Political Science


Donald Davison

Committee Member

Joan Davison

Committee Member

Dexter Boniface


This research examines the impact of electoral rules on voters’ behaviors. More specifically, how do majoritarian and proportional electoral arrangements influence citizens’ efficacy, knowledge, and sophistication levels and how, in turn, do they affect voter turnout in Ireland, the Netherlands, and the U.S.? It is hypothesized that typical predictors of political participation (e.g. educational attainment, partisanship, etc.) are more significant in the U.S. because majoritarian electoral arrangements impose greater informational costs and offer fewer participatory incentives. Conducting multivariate regression analysis with data from The Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES), I conclude that electoral systems do indeed impact voters’ behaviors in significant and meaningful ways. Typical predictors of political participation are more important in the U.S., where majoritarian electoral rules impose greater informational costs and fewer participatory incentives on voters.

Rights Holder

Skylar Knight