Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

American Political Science Review

DOI of Published Version



We examine the characteristics of a largely ignored low-turnout group--people who have recently moved. We find that neither demographic nor attitudinal attributes explain their lower turnout. Instead, the requirement that citizens must register anew after each change in residence constitutes the key stumbling block in the trip to the polls. Since nearly one-third of the nation moves every two years, moving has a large impact on national turnout rates. We offer a proposal to reduce the effect of residential mobility on turnout and estimate that turnout would increase by nine percentage points if the impact of moving could be removed. The partisan consequences of such a change would be marginal.

Journal Article Version

Version of Record

Published Article/Book Citation

American Political Science Review, 81:1 (1987) pp. 45-66.


Copyright © 1987 American Political Science Association. Used by permission.