Distance and Voting: Evidence from Danish Municipalities


Yosef Bhatti, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, Øster Farimagsgade 5, DK-1353 Copenhagen K, Denmark. E-mail: yb@ifs.ku.dk


Living far from the assigned polling station possibly renders voting less convenient than if the polls are right around the corner. Using a cross-sectional dataset of about 2.3 million potential voters, including the distances between each household and the assigned polling station, a substantial impact of distance on the propensity to vote is found. An individual living five kilometers from the polling station has a ten percentage-point lower propensity to turnout than an individual living right next to it. The relationship between distance and turnout is found to be approximately logarithmic. Additionally, the impact of distance appears to be conditional on the availability of cars in the household. The policy implications of the results are discussed in the concluding section.