"Trusting the Process: The (De)activating Effect of Electoral Trust on Non-Voting Participation in the 2020 American Electorate" with Kyle L. Saunders. Preprint
This article draws on the extant trust and participation literature to explore how trust in the election process affects non-voting participation (NVP), i.e., non-institutionalized electoral activities that can be consequential to democracy. We hypothesize that those with liberal issue preferences/operational ideology and those with less electoral trust will engage in more NVP. We further posit that issue preferences/operational ideology moderate the effect of electoral trust on NVP, particularly for conservatives. Using data from the 2020 American National Election Study survey (N=8,280), we provide some of the first evidence indicating that distrust in the election process, independent of political and social trust, increases NVP. Our findings also reveal that liberal issue preferences/operational ideology have little effect on the relationship between electoral trust and NVP, but those with conservative issue preferences/operational ideology and high electoral trust engage in the least NVP.