Voter Trust In Democracy

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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…
Elections represent a gateway by which citizens can have direct say into whom their elected officials will be and as such translates into having a direct impact in the political affairs of their country. Voter trust, or voter confidence, is defined as the confidence that a voter has that his ballot was counted correctly in the election (Alvarez and Hall 2008). 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…show more content…
In Jamaica as with most areas of the world, there are three fundamental educational levels that each individual must attain; they are primary, secondary and tertiary. An important aspect of the research is how to measure the trust voters have in the election process. Voter confidence is related to trust in government, but distinct in the way that voter confidence deals with the feelings voters have about the mechanism of choosing who will hold office. Voters can trust the election process and still feel that the person that was elected cannot be trusted and voters can trust the elected officials, but feel the election process lack integrity (Atkeson, Alvarez and Hall 2010). Disillusionment in election quality is linked to lower voter participation in a number of country and regional case studies (e.g., Birch, 2008;) In relation to educational level as well, when voters have problems voting because they find the ballot confusing and difficult to understand they are unsure whether they made a mistake on a ballot and they are likely to feel less confident that their vote will be counted. As such we would expect a poor voting experience to be negatively related to voter confidence and therefore trust in
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