September 11, 2013
Why Widows and Widowers Don’t Vote

Does loneliness make people less politically active? For decades, social scientists have been questioning the relationship between social isolation and political participation, but understandably, it’s somewhat difficult to quantify. 
A new article in the American Journal of Political Science gives this challenge a try by looking at how the death of a spouse affects voting behavior over time. Using census data, voting records, and information from the ominously named Social Security Death Master File, they measured the voting habits of 5.86 million Californians before and after the 2009-2010 statewide elections. What they found is that widows and widowers were much less likely to vote after their significant other died. Based on their predictions, 11 percent of people who would have voted if their spouse were alive failed to make it to the polls even a year and a half after the death.
Read more. [Image: Mike Segar/Reuters]

Why Widows and Widowers Don’t Vote

Does loneliness make people less politically active? For decades, social scientists have been questioning the relationship between social isolation and political participation, but understandably, it’s somewhat difficult to quantify. 

A new article in the American Journal of Political Science gives this challenge a try by looking at how the death of a spouse affects voting behavior over time. Using census data, voting records, and information from the ominously named Social Security Death Master File, they measured the voting habits of 5.86 million Californians before and after the 2009-2010 statewide elections. What they found is that widows and widowers were much less likely to vote after their significant other died. Based on their predictions, 11 percent of people who would have voted if their spouse were alive failed to make it to the polls even a year and a half after the death.

Read more. [Image: Mike Segar/Reuters]

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    Why Widows and Widowers Don’t Vote Does loneliness make people less politically active? For decades, social scientists...
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    My grandmother was the opposite - she and my grandfather vehemently disagreed on politics, and she took a distinct...