restricted access Electoral Stakes, Labor Migration, and Voter Turnout: The 2011 Presidential Election in Kyrgyzstan

Voter turnout in the 2011 presidential election in Kyrgyzstan revealed a dramatic divide between electoral behavior in the north and south of the country. Instead of the traditional socio-economic factors associated with variation in voter turnout, this study finds that differences in levels of labor migration and perceptions of the electoral stakes explain the turnout gap between northern and southern voters. Building on the work of Franklin and others, this research illustrates the importance of the character of the election in shaping voter behavior.