Real and perceived voting costs: Lithuanian emigrants’ discourses on external voting difficulty

Monika Maminskaite

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    Due to international migration, increasing numbers of eligible voters are abroad when their home countries hold elections. Employing the theory of voting costs and benefits and focussing on a case of Lithuania, this article presents an unprecedented qualitative enquiry into difficulties behind emigrant (non)voting. Besides real voting costs, interviews with Lithuanian emigrants reveal importance of perceived voting costs when one decides whether to vote—thereby also introducing to the field a novel theoretical framework for examining voting costs and benefits both in and beyond migration context. The paper demonstrates that in addition to implementing adequate provisions for external voting from the home country's side, it is crucial for the authorities to raise awareness of these accommodations—and of the associated conditions, such as registration terms and postal voting deadlines—in order to yield as high as possible participation levels among those emigrants who are willing to vote.

    langue originaleAnglais
    journalInternational Migration
    Les DOIs
    étatE-pub ahead of print - 31 août 2021

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    © 2021 The Authors. International Migration © 2021 IOM

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