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Overreporting voting: why it happens and why it matters

Overreporting voting: why it happens and why it matters

Public Opinion Quarterly 65(1): 22-44

The key to understanding why people overreport is that those who are under the most pressure to vote are the ones most likely to misrepresent their behavior when they fail to do so. Among all nonvoters, the most likely to overreport are the more educated, partisan, and religious, and those who have been contacted and asked to vote for a candidate. The greater the concentration of African-American and Latino nonvoters in a district, the greater the probability of overreporting in those districts, both among those in the relevant minority group and among white Anglos. White nonvoters are more likely to overreport in the Deep South than elsewhere. Overreporting matters: using reported votes in place of validated votes substantially distorts standard multivariate explanations of voting, increasing the apparent importance of independent variables that are related in the same direction to both overreporting and voting and sharply decreasing the apparent importance of independent variables related in opposing directions to those two variables.

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Accession: 046897768

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 11264053

DOI: 10.2307/3078784

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