Determinants of political participation and electoral turnout are still of great interest within political science and three broad types of factors have been found to influence turnout significantly; individual or area-specific traits, characteristics of the electoral systems, and features relating to the political climate in individual elections. Within the first group, socio-economic resources, typically education, income, and occupation, have been found to be particularly important. This article proposes that public health is also a relevant form of social and political resources at the aggregate level. Regional data on life expectancy and electoral turnout from Russia—a country with dramatically deteriorated public health during the 1990s—were therefore correlated with each other. Overall, correlations were positive and significant, and there is, then, reason to investigate further the possible relationship between public health and the propensity to turn out at elections.

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