Item Details

Replication Data for: Ballot Reform as Suffrage Restriction: Evidence From Brazil's Second Republic

Gingerich, Daniel
Computer Resource; Online; Dataset
Gingerich, Daniel
Daniel W. Gingerich
Few innovations in democratic institutional design are considered as fundamental as the introduction of voting through the use of a uniform, official, and secret ballot. One account claims that the official ballot liberates dependent voters from the dictates of local elites, thereby enhancing democratic competition. Another argues that in contexts of widespread illiteracy its adoption may be tantamount to a suffrage restriction. This paper adjudicates between these views by drawing upon an original dataset of municipal-level voting returns from Brazil’s Second Republic (1945-1964). The unique staggered rollout of the official ballot during this period permits one to assess its impact with unprecedented accuracy. The article finds that the primary consequence of ballot reform was suffrage restriction. Rather than liberating poor and dependent voters, the official ballot made it exceedingly difficult for these individuals to vote. Moreover, parliamentary debates indicate that this was an anticipated and intended effect of the reform.
Date Received
Daniel W. Gingerich, University of Virginia, 2019
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