Panel Paper: Life after the Uniform: Women Veterans and Voter Turnout in Presidential Elections

Friday, April 7, 2017 : 10:00 AM
Founders Hall Room 478 (George Mason University Schar School of Policy)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Faith M. Butta, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
Scholars consistently examine the effects of military service on future life events of male veterans, including minorities, generally finding positive associations. Normative political theory suggests that these positive associations should affect women in the same manner as men. However, as the number of female soldiers turning into women veterans increases, studies looking into how military service affects female veterans are increasingly necessary. However, much of the literature has seemingly overlooked the study of women veterans. To bridge this gap in the literature, this study explores the relationship between being a female veteran and voter turnout in presidential elections by using the Current Population Survey election supplement from 1996-2012. Logistic regression is performed to explore how the likelihood to vote differs by gender and veteran status. The analysis indicates that women veterans are more likely than their male counterparts or non-veteran (civilian) women to vote. However, the voting turnout rate for veterans is greater for men than it is for women. Does the military have less of a positive impact on female veterans? Future research should test to see if there is a difference of rate in positive associations related to military service for women than men.