Voter Turnout in Albania 1991-2017

Alban Nako
Epoka University


Voter turnout is a crucial indicator on the citizens level of involvement in democracy and a continuous decline raises red flags on its functionality. I theorize that this decline in Albania is a product of electoral manipulation, where political machines mix different clientelist strategies, vote-buying, turnout buying and abstention buying, to win elections. Relying on a mix method sequential explanatory approach, I will investigate who conducts electoral fraud and how it is ensured that their agents deliver fraud when needed and as much as it is needed? I theorize that electoral fraud is conducted locally by bureaucratic compliances, who in a weakly institutionalized environment require political support for their survival. On the other hand, experiments with a variety of election laws have infringed the political knowledge of Albanian citizens. The impacts of these reforms vary in surprising ways, providing insight into the mechanisms by which Albania has reduced turnout and increased the polarizing influence.