Date of Defense



Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Neil Pinney

Second Advisor

Dr. Carolyn Lewis

Third Advisor

Dr. Peter Renstrom


The literature on voting participation suggests a number of factors that should affect voter turnout differences including the legal incentives or hindrances acting directly on individual citizens. In this study I examine registration laws and how they may play a role in the stability over voter turnout between presidential and midterm elections. Specifically, this research concentrates on classifying each individual state into groups with easier and those with more strict registration requirements. With this done, I compared the voter turnout for the 1990-1996 elections between the two groups. Also, I looked at the drop-off rates in percentage of turnout for both groups. I found that the states with easier registration generally had higher voter turnout than those with more strict registration conditions. However, the results indicated that more people tend to fall out of the voting process in states with easier requirements than those with more difficult voter registration.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access