Fairness of elections, voter turnout and clientelism under authoritarianism: A Theoretical Essay
Keywords:elections, fair elections, perception declaration of voters, authoritarianism, Clientelism
The purpose of the article is to analyze the declaration of voters under authoritarianism. A study of the impact of perceptions of election integrity. The comparative qualitative study of monographs and scientific articles published on this topic was chosen as the research methodology. Along with the results of official parties and candidates, the high declaration is no less important component of electoral success, than the main indicator of the quality of democracy. The introduction explains that political science today knows a lot about the factors influencing voter turnout in democracies (old and new). But much less attention has been paid to the question: How do electoral fairness and integrity affect voter turnout in authoritarian settings? In the main part of the article, it is justified that both in democracies and under authoritarian regimes, participation in elections is positively related to integrity. Autocrats' interest in increasing voter turnout means they have good reason to care about the integrity of elections. However, the benefits of election integrity are secondary to them. Even when the election results pose minimal threat to them, they can easily ignore them. In addition, alternative mechanisms can be employed to increase disclosure rates, and strict authoritarian regimes have a whole arsenal of more powerful mechanisms to do so than liberalized regimes. It is also important that the combination of relatively honest elections with strict authoritarianism pushes opposition-oriented voters to strategic absenteeism. According to research, the most rational strategy for autocrats is one in which the public perceives the counting of votes as relatively honest, but at this time the emphasis is placed on the mobilization of loyal voters through the influence of party and/or media mechanisms. The concluding section notes that if the optimal balance between these elements is achieved, autocrats can take into account that different electoral irregularities affect voter turnout in different ways. Some aspects of dishonest elections—for example, unfair electoral laws—will have a significant impact on election results but have almost no effect on turnout.
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