Han Soo Lee

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Prior research has introduced myriad variables in order to explain voter turnout rates. However, rarely have welfare policies been considered as a critical variable in models of voter turnout . Unlike prior research, this study argues that welfare spending significantly affects voter turnout rates. To examine this argument, the relationships between voter turnout rates and per capita welfare expenditures of the U.S. states in 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006 are analyzed. According to the regression results in this study, level of and changes in welfare spending significantly and positively influence voter turnout rates in midterm and presidential elections. Specifically, a state's level of welfare spending significantly increases the turnout rates of the low-income group while changes in welfare spending significantly influence the turnout rates of the high-income group.

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