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TitleDeclining Portuguese voter turnout: political apathy or methodological artifact?
Author(s)Mendes, Silvia M.
Camões, Pedro J.
McDonald, Michael D.
KeywordsParticipãção eleitoral
Interesse pela política
Issue date2002
JournalRevista em Administração e Políticas Públicas
Citation"Revista em administração e políticas públicas". ISSN 0874-9086. 3:1-2 (2202) 8-17.
Abstract(s)The purpose of the paper is to question the decline in the Portuguese voter turnout rate and apparent lack of interest in politics. We argue that the decline could lie with methodologically artificially inflated electoral rolls that drive down the turnout rate. We address this issue by examining the components of the turnout ratio and find that the number of persons registered to vote was inflated in all districts in the early 90s, more so than theoretically possible, judging from statistics on the segment of the population that is eligible to register. Our simple analyses show two important ideas. First, the revision of electoral registration policy in the late 90s making updates mandatory deflated the denominator of the turnout rate in the 1999 election year—thus supporting our suspicions of methodological artificiality in the turnout rate. Second, we show that the rolls continue inflated in 2002, thus casting doubt on official statistics on voter turnout in Portugal.
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:NEAPP - Publicações em Revistas Nacionais

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