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Ballot Structure, Candidate Race, and Vote Choice in Brazil

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Rosario AguilarORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Although racial injustice and inequality are widely acknowledged in Brazil, recent experimental research concludes that citizens there do not rely on racial cues when voting. In this article, we test for the impact of candidate race on vote choice. We find evidence of identity-based voting in Brazil that interacts with ballot size. When facing a short ballot with only a few candidates, most subjects chose candidates without regard to race or color. But when presented with a large ballot with many candidates, white and brown subjects show a significant preference for same-race candidates. Self-identified black subjects, however, demonstrated a strong and consistent preference for black candidates regardless of choice set size. These results are particularly important given Brazil’s electoral rules that provide voters with overwhelming numbers of candidates from which to choose.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Aguilar R, Cunow S, Desposato S, Barone L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Latin American Research Review

Year: 2015

Volume: 50

Pages: 176-201

Print publication date: 26/10/2015

Acceptance date: 06/09/2013

Date deposited: 21/08/2019

ISSN (print): 0023-8791

ISSN (electronic): 1542-4278

Publisher: Latin American Studies Association


DOI: 10.1353/lar.2015.0044


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