Critical review of the electoral reform of 2006 in Peru: the case of the electoral fines as a perverse incentive
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The main purpose of this work is to question the utility of public policies and norms adopted by the state to promote participation in elections, in this case fines as an incentive to increase voter turnout. Considering the fine as a norm that affects the economy of people, this thesis seeks to lay out if fines affect the population in different ways according to their social class. To this end, the case of Perú -- a country with mandatory voting and an electoral fine -- is analyzed. In 2006, the government carried out an electoral reform, which ultimately divided counties in the country into three categories: nonpoor, poor, and extremely poor. This public reform established that with a higher level of poverty, lower fines are imposed. In this regard, a critical analysis of this reform is made, hypothesizing that reducing the fine would affect the participation of the poorest areas more significantly than the non-poor areas. On the other hand, certain authors point out that compulsory voting systems encourage people to make an uninformed vote. In this context, Perú is among the countries with the highest invalid voting rate in the world. Thus, within a trend of low levels of participation, the electoral behavior of those who previously voted to avoid the fine evolves. By decreasing the incentives to vote, will those really interested who show up at the polls? The second axis of this thesis will be tested through the hypothesis that reducing the amount of the fine will decrease the percentage of people that mark an invalid vote, in a country with compulsory vote such as Perú.