Date of Award

Spring 2014

First Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Stiles


This study examines the effects of several individual-level variables on voter behavior, in order to make inferences regarding voter turnout. These variables include education level, socioeconomic status, household income, religious attendance, rural or urban residence, political activism, contact from a party or candidate, whether the respondent feels a party adequately represents his or her view, whether voting is compulsory, how the respondent feels regarding the democratic process in his or her country, and the country’s voting system (plurality, majority, or proportional). Focusing mainly on voting system, compulsory voting, and satisfaction with the democratic process, I argue that the greatest indicator of an individual’s voting behavior is the voting system, followed closely by compulsory voting and democratic satisfaction. For this reason, governments should focus their efforts in these areas in order to increase voter turnout.