Wednesday, September 26, 2012

To Vote or Not to Vote? Civic Participation in Georgia

By Milena Oganesyan

As Georgians prepare for parliamentary elections set for October 1, 2012, political parties have entered the final stage of the pre-elections race. One of the important attributes of active citizenship and civic engagement is voting in elections. This blog explores Georgians’ attitudes toward voting in elections based on age group and gender differences. In this regard, CRRC conducted a countrywide survey in 2011 on Georgians’ attitudes about volunteerism and civic participation in Georgia. The survey revealed that 75% of Georgians living in the capital think that voting in elections is a very important characteristic of a good citizen. Over half of those living in urban (68%) and rural (57%) areas also believe that a good citizen should participate in voting. However, Georgians in the capital seem to be more engaged in political processes in the country than those in urban and rural areas.

When survey respondents were asked whether they would vote if the parliamentary elections were held next Sunday, up to 64% said they would participate. At the same time, about 12% of Georgian citizens did not intend to cast their votes.

When split by age groups, the data show that Georgians aged 36 or older are more willing to participate in parliamentary elections (up to 66%) than the younger age group. Thus, the older generation seems to be more actively engaged in voting.

However, there are no significant differences in Georgians’ decisions to vote in parliamentary elections, when split by gender. In conclusion, based on the 2011 Volunteerism and Civic Participation survey, more than half of those surveyed in Georgia said that they would vote if parliamentary elections were held next Sunday and most Georgians agree that voting is an important element of civic participation.

You can explore these and related questions regarding Georgia and the wider South Caucasus region by visiting CRRC’s interactive Online Data Analysis tool online at

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