Is the Low Electoral Turnout of Indigenous People a Myth? Evidence from Subnational Elections in Chile, 2012-2017

Mauricio Morales
2020 Journal of ethnic and cultural studies  
Abundant evidence exists of the low electoral turnout of indigenous people. Among the reasons that explain this result are the weakness of political parties in representing indigenous people, the economic circumstances of ethnic minorities, and their experiences of discrimination. In general, these findings are based on analyses of national elections, and it is unclear if they hold equally at the subnational level. This study of the Mapuche ethnic group in Chile analyzed the electoral turnout
more » ... Chile's 345 municipalities for the national elections of 2013 and 2017 and the subnational elections of 2012 and 2016. The study found the following. First, the electoral turnout in municipalities with the highest concentration of Mapuche is above the average for subnational elections and comparable to the average for national elections. Second, the electoral turnout in these municipalities increases in those subnational elections in which candidates with Mapuche surnames compete. Third, the electoral turnout increases even more in those municipalities in which Mapuche mayoral candidates win in subnational elections.
doi:10.29333/ejecs/605 fatcat:ycadenjujnhshdv6hs37d3lnyi