Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science

First Committee Member

John Tuman

Second Committee Member

David Damore

Third Committee Member

Ted Jelen

Fourth Committee Member

Miriam Melton-Villanueva

Number of Pages



The number of countries worldwide that have allowed citizens abroad the opportunity to vote in elections taking place in their country-of-origin has risen sharply in the last thirty years. Many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have followed this global trend of granting voting rights to their migrant communities. However, the source of this trend in Latin America and the Caribbean has not been well addressed in the political science literature. This study seeks to minimize that gap by analyzing the determinants of external voting rights for 27 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, using data from 1980-2012. The study applies the Cox Proportional Hazard Model to determine which variables increase the likelihood of external voting legislation. Furthermore, case studies of Chile and Mexico are presented. The thesis concludes by emphasizing the impact of remittances, political leaning of the government, and the political calculations that politicians must take when deciding whether or not to adopt external voting laws.


Caribbean Area; External voting; Latin America; Suffrage; Transnational Politics; Transnational voting; Voting from abroad


Latin American Studies | Political Science