Date of Award

Summer 8-11-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science

First Advisor

Jason Reifler, PhD.

Second Advisor

Sean Richey, PhD.

Third Advisor

Ryan Carlin, PhD.


Do the physical settings in which a voter casts their ballot affect their vote choices? Every state uses a variety of polling locations for the administration of election: churches, schools, libraries, fire stations, and etcetera. The literature on priming effects and voting is massive, but very little research examines the impact of the venue in which a ballot is cast has on voters’ decisions. In this study I argue that polling venues situated on church, school, or veteran’s association property influences the proportion of votes cast in favor of ballot measures related to each institution. I test these hypotheses using precinct level election results and population data from California’s 2008 general election and find results supporting, or suggesting, such a relationship.