1st Edition

Election Administration and the Politics of Voter Access

By Kevin Pallister Copyright 2017
    252 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    252 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Democratic countries vary widely in the extent to which the administration of the electoral process facilitates voter participation, showing a great deal of variation in everything from voter registration to the casting of ballots.

    This book is the first systematic study to investigate why it is easier to vote in some democracies than in others. It develops the concept of election administration inclusiveness, which considers all of the administrative requirements and procedures that a citizen confronts in exercising his or her right to vote. It then draws on in-depth case studies from Central America and data from Latin America more broadly to address how political parties and other actors interact in constructing election administration rules and procedures. Using a theoretical framework centred on electoral threat, party capacity, and electoral management body composition, the author identifies multiple pathways to inclusive and restrictive election administration.

    This book will be of key interest to students and scholars of elections, democracy studies, Latin American politics, and more broadly comparative politics and law.

    1. Introduction

    2. Election Administration Inclusiveness

    3. Electoral Integrity and Inclusiveness in the Americas

    4. Guatemala: Raising Obstacles to Voter Participation, 1983-2003

    5. Guatemala: Election Administration Reform and Improving Voter Access, 2004-2011

    6. Nicaragua: Bringing the Ballot to the People, 1984-1996

    7. Nicaragua: The Slow Erosion of Inclusiveness, 2000-2012

    8. El Salvador: From Voter Exclusion to Halting Reform

    9. Conclusion

    List of Interviews

    Appendix: Recommendations from International Election Observer Missions


    Kevin Pallister is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Bridgewater College, USA. He has worked as an international election observer in Guatemala for the Organization of American States and his work has been published in the journal Latin American Politics and Society and the Routledge Handbook of Comparative Political Institutions (2015).