Abstract

We assume that people have a need to make statements, and construct a model in which this need is the sole determinant of voting behavior. In this model, an individual selects a ballot that makes as close a statement as possible to her ideal point, where abstaining from voting is a possible (null) statement. We show that in such a model, a political system that adopts approval voting may be expected to enjoy a significantly higher rate of participation in elections than a comparable system with plurality rule.