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Ballot Roll-off in Intermediate Appellate Court Elections
Unformatted Document Text:  8 (DuBois 1980; Hall 2007; Hall and Bonneau 2008). Therefore, we include a variable coded 1 if a presidential election was on the ballot and 0 if otherwise (presidential election). However, Hall and Aspin’s (1987a) study of trial court retention elections failed to uncover any significant relationship between presidential election years and voter roll-off. Similar to trial court elections, most IAC elections take place in districts. 7 As a result, we interact presidential election year with whether the IAC contest was held in a district (presidential election*district). Another state or district-wide variable that can influence roll-off is the education level of a jurisdiction. Education is a strong predictor of whether a person shows up at the polls (Kim, Petrocik, and Enokson 1975; Powell 1986), but it also likely will influence whether a person casts a ballot for a specific office or ballot proposition (Hall 2007; Magleby 1984). In theory, the more formal education people have, the more access they are apt to have to information about a race, which will make it less probable that they skip a race. Similarly, the politically sophisticated, likely to be those with more formal education, can utilize cues more effectively than those with less political sophistication (Lau and Redlawsk 2001), which should make it more likely that they will vote in IAC contests. Therefore, we include in the model a variable that measures a state’s or district’s education level (state or district education level). We operationalize this variable as the percentage of the state or district population at least 25 years of age with a bachelor’s degree or higher. 8 Institutional Context One of the greatest effects on ballot roll-off may be the institutional context in which the election is held. Studies find, for example, that ballot roll-off is greater in nonpartisan than in 7 Roughly 83 percent of IAC elections included in this study took place in districts. Some supreme court elections are held district-wide as well, but not nearly the number of IAC district-wide elections. 8 This data was collected from the United States Bureau of the Census. Since the census does not collect annual education data, values were interpolated for missing years.

Authors: Streb, Matthew., Frederick, Brian. and LaFrance, Casey.
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8
(DuBois 1980; Hall 2007; Hall and Bonneau 2008). Therefore, we include a variable coded 1 if
a presidential election was on the ballot and 0 if otherwise (presidential election). However,
Hall and Aspin’s (1987a) study of trial court retention elections failed to uncover any significant
relationship between presidential election years and voter roll-off. Similar to trial court
elections, most IAC elections take place in districts.
7
As a result, we interact presidential
election year with whether the IAC contest was held in a district (presidential election*district).
Another state or district-wide variable that can influence roll-off is the education level of
a jurisdiction. Education is a strong predictor of whether a person shows up at the polls (Kim,
Petrocik, and Enokson 1975; Powell 1986), but it also likely will influence whether a person
casts a ballot for a specific office or ballot proposition (Hall 2007; Magleby 1984). In theory, the
more formal education people have, the more access they are apt to have to information about a
race, which will make it less probable that they skip a race. Similarly, the politically
sophisticated, likely to be those with more formal education, can utilize cues more effectively
than those with less political sophistication (Lau and Redlawsk 2001), which should make it
more likely that they will vote in IAC contests. Therefore, we include in the model a variable
that measures a state’s or district’s education level (state or district education level). We
operationalize this variable as the percentage of the state or district population at least 25 years of
age with a bachelor’s degree or higher.
8
Institutional Context
One of the greatest effects on ballot roll-off may be the institutional context in which the
election is held. Studies find, for example, that ballot roll-off is greater in nonpartisan than in
7
Roughly 83 percent of IAC elections included in this study took place in districts. Some supreme court elections
are held district-wide as well, but not nearly the number of IAC district-wide elections.
8
This data was collected from the United States Bureau of the Census. Since the census does not collect annual
education data, values were interpolated for missing years.


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