If voters have negligible cognition costs, ballot layout should not
affect election outcomes. We explore deviations from rational voting
using quasi-random variation in candidate name placement on
ballots from the 2003 California recall election. We find that minor
candidates' vote shares almost double when their names are adjacent
to the names of major candidates. All else equal, vote share gains
are larger in precincts with higher percentages of poorly educated,
poor, or third-party voters. A major candidate that disproportionally
attracts voters from such precincts faces an electoral disadvantage.
We also explore which voting technology platforms and brands mitigate
misvoting. (JEL D72)
"Who Misvotes? The Effect of Differential Cognition Costs on Election Outcomes."
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
Models of Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior