Is the Low Electoral Turnout of Indigenous People a Myth? Evidence from Subnational Elections in Chile, 2012-2017


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DOI:

https://doi.org/10.29333/ejecs/605

Keywords:

Chile, electoral turnout, Mapuche, representation, subnational elections.

Abstract

Abundant evidence exists of the low electoral turnout of indigenous people. Among the reasons that explain this result are the weakness of political parties in representing indigenous people, the economic circumstances of ethnic minorities, and their experiences of discrimination. In general, these findings are based on analyses of national elections, and it is unclear if they hold equally at the subnational level. This study of the Mapuche ethnic group in Chile analyzed the electoral turnout in Chile’s 345 municipalities for the national elections of 2013 and 2017 and the subnational elections of 2012 and 2016. The study found the following. First, the electoral turnout in municipalities with the highest concentration of Mapuche is above the average for subnational elections and comparable to the average for national elections. Second, the electoral turnout in these municipalities increases in those subnational elections in which candidates with Mapuche surnames compete. Third, the electoral turnout increases even more in those municipalities in which Mapuche mayoral candidates win in subnational elections.

 

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Author Biography

Mauricio Morales, UNIVERSIDAD DE TALCA

Full Professor, School of Political Science and Public Administration,  Faculty of Social and Juridical Sciences, Universidad de Talca. PhD in Political Science. His work has published by Democratization, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Journal of Women, Policits&Policy, Latin American Politics&Society, Latin American Research Review, Política y Gobierno, Revista de Ciencia Política.

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2020-12-01

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Morales, M. (2020). Is the Low Electoral Turnout of Indigenous People a Myth? Evidence from Subnational Elections in Chile, 2012-2017. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 8(1), 107–128. https://doi.org/10.29333/ejecs/605

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