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Do Voting Advice Applications Change Political Behavior?


We analyze how the introduction of the voting advice application smartvote in Switzerland affects voter turnout, voting behavior, and electoral outcomes. The Swiss context offers an ideal setting to identify the causal effects of voting advice applications using real-world aggregate data because smartvote was introduced in different cantons at different points in time. We find that smartvote does not affect turnout but that voters more actively select candidates instead of parties by splitting their ballot. Our findings suggest that no specific party seems to benefit from the change in voting behavior.

The Journal of Politics, forthcoming