“Exposure to Election Fraud Research Undermines Confidence in Democracy” by John Seungmin Kuk, Don S. Lee, and Inbok Rhee
January 27, 2021 @ 9:00 am – 10:00 am JST
Abstract: When and how does claims of election fraud undermine public confidence in democracy? Using a nationally representative sample of Korea voters, we conduct a survey experiment three months after the actual election, in order to investigate how claims of electoral fraud affect people’s belief in the legitimacy of election results. In a vignette where respondents read about some description of electoral fraud claims that closely mimics various aspects of real world claims, we experimentally manipulate the degree of the alleged fraud and the identity of the party that allegedly committed the fraudulent act. We find that the exposure to election fraud claims undermines confidence in democracy as measured in both self-reported responses as well as behavioral measures involving visiting a relevant petition sign-up website. Moreover, we find that partisan identification significantly influences whether and how individual voters react to the assigned information treatment from the vignette. Our work adds to the growing literature on the public perceptions of election fraud or interference using a relatively new yet stable democracy as its test case.