The importance of being first: Effects of candidates’ list positions in the 2003 Bavarian state election.
Normative theories of democracy do not pay much attention to technicalities of voting, implicitly assuming that these do not influence voting behaviour and election outcomes significantly. However, it is not clear whether this is actually the case. In this article we analyse whether one such technical detail matters for voting behaviour: the ballot position. Based on previous research in the field, we discuss ballot position effects and deduce hypotheses concerning list position effects in the 2003 Bavarian state election. In the empirical analysis, it turns out that ballot positions had a considerable influence on voting behaviour in this election, especially, the top position on party lists rendered a large bonus of votes. Obviously, technicalities matter.
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