Abstract and Keywords
Research on voting and political engagement suggests that structural features of political life can affect whether and how individuals participate. This includes the administration of elections, the ease with which one can cast a ballot, the opportunities for deliberation and engagement during election campaigns as well as the ways in which votes are translated into seats. Key here are the costs for voters—costs of time often chief amongst them—of getting involved, staying informed, reaching decisions, and casting a ballot. Scots have multiple electoral worlds to navigate, each of which has the capacity to alter the incentive structures for engagement for voters. This chapter explores these variations—focusing on the diversity of electoral experience in Scotland as well as frequent, recent, changes to elections—before focusing in greater detail on electoral systems, why they have been adopted and their implications for electoral outcomes in Scotland.
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