Rüdiger Schmitt-Beck, Patrick Kraft
Political Information Flows and Constistent Voting: Personal Conversations, Mass Media, Party Campaigns, and the Quality of Voting Decisions at the 2009 German Federal Election

Pp. 193-216 in: Bernhard Weßels, Hans Rattinger, Sigrid Roßteutscher, Rüdiger Schmitt-Beck (Eds.): Voters on the Move or on the Run?. 2014. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Consistent voting is a precondition for the working of accountability. This chapter investigates the conditions under which “correct voting” is more likely. The results demonstrate that whether voters make sound choices at the polls depends not only on their own motivational and cognitive resources. Although in quite complex ways, turning to external sources of political information may considerably improve their odds of voting consistently. Delegating the costs of obtaining, analysing, and evaluating information to sources available within their social environments pays off for voters—at least as long as they make the right choices when selecting their sources.