Institutions and the Norms That Help Maintain Stability

  • Martha E. Kropf
Part of the Elections, Voting, Technology book series (EVT)


Usually when there is an election, local and state newspapers also have an editorial encouraging citizens to vote. One does not always receive a tangible reward for voting, but reporter Tina Reed wrote in the Annapolis, Maryland newspaper, The Capital: “A ballot-full of businesses want to capitalize on election night by offering dirty martinis, Obama cookies and free bagels with your ‘I voted’ sticker.”1 Yes! Citizens could demonstrate patriotism by showing the ever-present “I voted” sticker and earning a dirty martini. Even the “Brat Man” wants to reward the voter with $1 off any menu item if the person voted in the primary.2 We don’t always get a reward like Wisconsin bratwurst when we do something of which others approve. But Americans do a lot to be accepted by others, especially those whose opinions they value—or maybe whoever will just give one a snack as a reward. Peer pressure appears to work for all kinds of social outcomes, good and bad.3


Voter Turnout Voter Registration Civic Duty Secret Ballot Palm Beach County 
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  1. 4.
    Gerber, Alan S., Gregory A. Huber, David Doherty, and Conor M. Dowling. 2015. “Why People Vote: Estimating the Social Returns to Voting.” British Journal of Political Science, FirstView Article/April 2015, pages 1–24 DOI: 10.1017/S0007123414000271, Published online: October 20, 2014.Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    See Rice, Tom W. and Jan L. Feldman. 1997. “Civic Culture and Democracy from Europe to America.” Journal of Politics 59(4): 1143–1172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 22.
    See for example, Parry, Janine, Jay Barth, Martha Kropf, and E. Terrence Jones. 2008. “Mobilizing the Seldom Voter: Campaign Contacts and Effects in High-Profile Elections.” Political Behavior 30(1): 97–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 24.
    McConnaughy, Corrine M. 2013. The Woman Suffrage Movement in America: A Reassessment. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martha E. Kropf
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotteUSA

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