Voter Trust

895 Words4 Pages
Elections and more so, free and fair elections have often been air marked as one of the key tenets of democracy. As such, the electoral process remains an integral part of granting legitimacy to democracy. In the same manner the legitimacy of the electoral process and elections in general must also be maintained as the level of trust in elections may have an impact on the level of trust in a political system as a whole. Often, studies are done as to why persons vote the way they do but there haven’t been substantial studies on the trust level of individuals in elections of their respective countries and as such we aim to add to that literature. According to Loeber (2011)“Voter confidence in election results is of the utmost importance for…show more content…
If voters have doubts whether their votes are counted correctly or the process was not impartial then they might feel that the results do not match their desires. The legitimacy of those who are elected weakens when these doubts arise, both of the individual representatives as that of the parliament as a whole. This could ultimately undermine the strengths of the democratic process and institutions in a country. (Lehoucq 2002). Also, voter trust in elections is not the same as support for government in a democracy as that is known as political trust. As such, the difference must be highlighted as persons often conflate the two. In the 2000 United States election they experienced something of this nature as it was unclear for a long period whether George W. Bush or Al Gore had won the election. In the United Kingdom, the introduction of postal voting led to allegations of election fraud among others in Birmingham in 2005 and some cases even made it to the courts and officials were found guilty. As such it is clear to see that trust in elections is of paramount…show more content…
As we are investigating trust in elections we have to examine how this is manifested in turnout or in voter apathy as voter turnout is a manifestation of trust in a physical form. In an article by D. Sunshine Hillygus called The Missing Link: Exploring the Relationship between Higher Education and Political Engagement, it highlighted several political science researches which had concluded that education directly influence an individual's productivity to participate in the political sphere. In this research, education was seen as the strongest predictor of political participation above all other socioeconomic factors. What this also suggests is that increasing education in the population should produce a more informed and engaged electorate. Education enhances people's drive towards the act of voting, as well as their political interest, which in turn leads to a higher turnout and trust in elections. The interests and values of people with more education would be different from those of people with less education, and that these differences are reflected in the way they vote and the trust in elections. Voting is a vital means to fulfilling civic duty and affirming allegiance and as such people with more education have a higher sense of this civic duty, and a stronger allegiance to the
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