Vote Buying and Voter Intimidation in El Salvador and Costa Rica

Faculty Research Grant
Grant Year

This project will conduct surveys on vote buying and voter intimidation in El Salvador and Costa Rica during the February 2, 2014 election.

Vote buying, a particularized form of clientelism involving the exchange of goods for votes at the individual level has deleterious consequences for democracy. Voter intimidation is equally pernicious and refers to threats of (or actual) violence by political campaigns to compel voters to abstain from the election or vote a particular way, and hinders the creation of a level and competitive political playing field.

The major purpose of fielding surveys in these two countries is to fill in gaps for our overall picture of vote buying in Latin America. By juxtaposing vote buying with other campaign strategies, we can better understand how and why parties employ the tactic and start to discuss the best means of combatting the practice.