Royal Military College of Canada
OCdt Jean-Nicolas Bordeleau, an Honours Political Science and Psychology student at the Royal Military College of Canada, conducted a unique research study as part of his undergraduate honours thesis, titled "Does Electoral Intervention Rhetoric Influence Voters’ Behaviors and Attitudes? Empirical Evidence From a Survey Study."
The study explores the impact of electoral interventions and interference rhetoric on the attitudes and behavior of voter. It asks: Are voters aware of foreign electoral interventions less trustworthy of the democratic process? Do voters become more polarized when exposed to foreign influence attempts? Are voters more likely not to go vote if they are aware of foreign influence? This research project examines the impact of knowledge of foreign electoral interventions on voters using an experimental vignette design. These impacts include attitudinal changes, such as ideological polarization and loss of trust in democracy, as well as behavioural changes, including willingness to access government services and to vote. The results show that knowledge of electoral interventions has a significant impact on voter’s trust in the electoral process. However, being aware of electoral interventions did not influence voter’s intention to vote, nor did it influence their openness to alternative methods of registration and voting. This study draws from elaboration likelihood model theory and rational choice theory to explain these results.
The study was conducted under the supervision of Dr. Holly Ann Garnett, at the Elections and Democracy Laboratory ( http://hollyanngarnett.com/lab) at the Royal Military College of Canada/Queen's University. The lab currently houses the Electoral Integrity Project ( https://www.electoralintegrityproject.com/).