(With Ora John Reuter, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Higher School of Economics, Moscow and David Szakonyid, George Washington University and Higher School of Economics, Moscow)
Abstract: Numerous studies document how parties, unions, and local leaders mobilize voters, but the role of employers in getting out the vote is not well understood. Drawing from recent postelection surveys in 8 countries lower and middle-income countries, we explore the prevalence, normative implications, and causes of workplace mobilization of voters. We find that this practice is common in a range of countries and is often seen as coercive by employees. We also find that politicians face a tradeoff. While workplace mobilization can increase turnout when state officials have leverage over employers and employees, it can also reduce support for incumbents among the broader population voters because this tactic is widely seen inappropriate. Our results have implications for the study of political clientelism, democratization, and electoral fraud.
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