From Maastricht to Brexit by Richard Bellamy and Dario Castiglione

Youth@Wahlomat: Usage and Consequences of a German Voting Advice Application in the Context of a State and National Election

Electoral Behaviour
Voting Behaviour
Thorsten Faas
Freie Universität Berlin
Thorsten Faas
Freie Universität Berlin

The "Wahlomat" is the classic German Voting Advice Application. Without a doubt, it is a huge and apparently never-ending success story with ever increasing numbers of users. It is regularly offered in the context of German state as well as national parliamentary elections. In this paper, I will provide an analysis of the usage and consequences of the Wahlomat. Empirically, the paper shall be based on a rather unique data base, namely a two-wave panel study of young German citizens aged 15 to 18: The first wave was conducted in the context of a German state election in May 2017, the second one in the context of the Bundestag election in September 2017. Both waves included a series of questions related to the Wahlomat, but also several other means of campaign communication. Given this data base, the paper will provide a rigorous analysis of the usage and consequences of this voting advice application. It will be a comparative paper in two respects, as it will compare the two types of elections, but also compare the reach and impact of the Wahlomat compared to other means of campaign communication among young Germans.
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