07/09/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Voting: It's In Your Genes

Heading to the polls on Nov. 4? If so, your genes may be driving you there, a new study suggests.

In fact, as much as 50 percent of whether you vote or not may be genetically determined, says a team at the University of California, San Diego. Genes may even be more important to your tendency to cast a ballot than family political history.

"Both nature and nurture play a role in voting," said lead author James H. Fowler, an associate professor of political science. "We expected genes would play a little bit of a role, but we were surprised how strong [a] role they played."

Previously, experts primarily focused on the environmental factors that pushed people to vote. "For a long time, they thought that parents and children have pretty much the same behavior when it comes to voting," Fowler said. "If they voted, it's likely you will go to the polls as well."

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