SUMMARY: Regulators and legislators have focused significant attention on financial statement restatements in recent years, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and financial statement users view restatements as audit failures. The SEC (2000, 2003a) suggests that shareholder voting on auditor ratification will be impacted by perceptions of audit quality. In this paper we examine shareholder voting on auditor ratifications in 2005 or 2006 following restatement announcements by SEC registrants. We find that shareholders are more likely to vote against auditor ratification after a restatement when compared with votes at (1) firms without restatements or (2) restating firms in the preceding period. Overall, the results provide empirical support to the SEC's assertion that shareholder voting on auditor ratification will be related to perceptions of audit quality, and also support recent actions by shareholder activists to require all firms to submit the selection of the auditor for a ratification vote by shareholders.

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