- The Oxford Handbooks of American Politics
- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- About the Contributors
- The State of Survey Research as a Research Tool in American Politics
- Optimizing Survey Questionnaire Design in Political Science: Insights from Psychology
- Laboratory Experiments in American Political Behavior
- Field Experiments and the Study of Political Behavior
- Formal Modeling, Strategic Behavior, and the Study of American Elections
- Why is American Turnout so Low, and Why Should We Care?
- American Voter Turnout in Historical Perspective
- Expanding the Possibilities: Reconceptualizing Political Participation as a Toolbox
- Voter Registration: Turnout, Representation, and Reform
- Early, Absentee, and Mail‐in Voting
- Digital Democracy: How Politics Online is Changing Electoral Participation
- Voting Technology
- The Study of Electoral Behavior
- The American Voter
- Politics, Expertise, and Interdependence within Electorates
- Constructing The Vote: Media Effects in a Constructionist Model
- Campaign Effects on Vote Choice
- Forecasting Us Presidential Elections
- Economics, Elections, and Voting Behavior
- Latinos and Political Behavior: Defining Community to Examine Critical Complexities
- Organizing American Politics, Organizing Gender
- Gauging the God Gap: Religion and Voting in US Presidential Elections
- Local and National Forces in Congressional Elections
- The Study of Local Elections in American Politics
- Studying State Judicial Races in a Transformed Electoral Environment
- Primary Elections
- Direct Democracy in the United States
- Voters in Context: The Politics of Citizen Behavior
- Getting up off the Canvass: Rethinking the Study of Mobilization
- Parties, Elections, and Democratic Politics
- Organized Interests: Evolution and Influence
- Money and American Elections
- American Electoral Practices in Comparative Perspective
- On Participation: Individuals, Dynamic Categories, and the Context of Power
- Studying American Elections*
- In Search of Representation Theory
- Name Index
- Subject Index
Abstract and Keywords
This article provides an argument that other questions arise from the study of voting on ballot propositions that relate to the variety of voter preferences, how voter opinions are formed, and how voters think about democratic institutions. Although voting on some proposals may well be quite difficult and voting on many proposals may well tax the patience of most voters, it is all too easy to overstate the difficulties voters have in understanding what is going on with a given proposition. The study of ballot propositions can advance the study of voting behavior, especially in the areas of framing effects, the dynamics of choice, and questions about how voters reason and about how democratic institutions and processes should function. Each of these points is discussed in turn. It is shown that there is a complex relationship between mass preferences, institutions, and policy.
Shaun Bowler is Professor and interim Chair in the Department of Political Science, University of California, Riverside.
Todd Donovan is Professor of Political Science, Western Washington University.
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