Skip navigation
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Authors: Gumbs, Alexandria
Advisors: Londregan, John
Department: Woodrow Wilson School
Class Year: 2018
Abstract: Voting behavior is a thoroughly studied field, with much of the recent work investigating the relationship between turnout and distance to the nearest polling place. This work has generally established a negative relationship between distance and turnout – as distance to the polling place rises, turnout usually declines. While informative, these studies fail to investigate voting behavior for populations that rely on public transportation. This distinction is important, as those that ride public transit have less agency than those that own cars – taking the bus or train means operating on a schedule over which riders have no influence. The difference is exacerbated when public transportation underperforms, as this gives riders even less control over when they will arrive at their destination. This study seeks to analyze this population, incorporating distance to the polls, distance to the nearest bus stop, and metrics that evaluate bus performance to investigate turnout behavior for individuals that are highly dependent on public transportation but also underserved by it. The population of interest is located in the Bronx, where residents rely on the bus system. Statistical methods were used to evaluate turnout. Specifically, a logistic regression was employed to quantify the relationship between turnout, bus service, and other variables of interest. The model shows that distance to the polls, distance to the nearest bus station, and the unreliability of the local bus exhibit a statistically significant, negative relationship with turnout. In other words, as the unreliability of the bus increases, the probability associated with turnout decreases. This relationship holds true for different values of distance. At the highest values of distance evaluated, the negative impact of bus unreliability has an even larger impact on turnout Analysis of ways to improve turnout are found in this chapter and include offering ways to increase turnout that include implementing feasible change to the bus system, increasing awareness of existing policy that allows workers to take two hours of paid leave to vote, and implementing no excuse absentee voting in New York. Although updating the bus system may prove most difficult, it would likely render not only changes in turnout, but also improvements for all of New York’s residents.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, 1929-2020

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
GUMBS-ALEXANDRIA-THESIS.pdf1.57 MBAdobe PDF    Request a copy

Items in Dataspace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.