The power of the ballot box: public attitudes towards the right to vote

SOURCE: HSRC Review
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2014
TITLE AUTHOR(S): B.Roberts, J.Struwig, S.Gordon
KEYWORDS: ELECTIONS, HUMAN RIGHTS, PUBLIC ATTITUDE, VOTER PARTICIPATION, VOTING
DEPARTMENT: Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery (DGSD)
Web link: http://www.hsrc.ac.za/en/review/hsrc-review-july-2014/power-of-ballot-box-sassas
Intranet: HSRC Library: shelf number 8299

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Abstract

As the nation celebrates the successful completion of the fifth national and provincial elections, it is important to reflect on how South Africans generally feel about voting. As a response, this article by Benjamin Roberts, Jare Struwig and Steven Gordon examines the nature of public attitudes towards voting. Since its inception in 2003, the HSRC's annual South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS) series has asked representative samples of adults a range of questions designed to understand underlying values concerning citizenship, democracy and governance. These included a set of conventional measures concerning attitudes towards the act of voting. This article reflects some of the longitudinal findings but also focuses specifically on the 2013 survey round, which was conducted between October and December 2013 and consisted of a representative sample of 2 885 respondents aged 16 years and older living in private homes.