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Influence of ‘Cognitive Sophistication’ on Ballot Layout Effects

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The layout of the ballot affects voting behaviour. Candidates in ‘critical’ (top and bottom) positions in multi-column ballots obtain a larger percentage of the vote in multi-column ballots than in a single-column ballot. In the present paper, we analyse whether the socio-economic characteristics of the electorate affect the prominence of such Ballot Layout Effects. We analyse preferential votes obtained by 897 candidates in the 1995 Regional Elections in Brussels. We find that the cognitive sophistication of the electorate, as proxied by its education level, reduces the strength of the observed Ballot Layout Effects.Acta Politica (2003) 38, 295–311. doi:10.1057/palgrave.ap.5500040
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1Department of Micro-economics, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussel, Belgium ; [email protected], Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 01 December 2003

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